On a wound site, bleeding is actually a natural process that the body induces to help cleaning the wound. The bleeding comes from any injured blood vessels on and around the wound site, since these blood vessels are damaged. When a cut is deep enough, it is possible that it does not only cause damages to the blood vessels, but also the deeper fat tissues and even tendons and muscles. However, cuts with excessive bleeding should be paid attention to, as it may lead into shock.
How much bleeding is normal?
Based on its severity, cuts may result in different amounts of bleeding. Although few cases might be different, most cuts, which are less deep than the others trigger smaller amount of blood. The deeper ones, on the other hand, might cause more severe bleeding, which involve more amount of blood. The more blood vessels under the skin are affected, the more severe bleeding the body will trigger as a part of natural initial wound cleanse. This way, when a small cut is located on the area where tiny blood vessels reside, such as the neck, the thighs, and face, larger amount of blood may present. It is not really easy to define how much amount of blood is normal for each cut injury, but how long the bleeding lasts can be used as a useful clue, instead.
How long is too long for a cut to bleed?
Cuts can occur because of various causes. Some cuts are on the surface of the skin, while some others may go deeper. Bleeding is going to occur immediately after the skin and the blood vessels beneath are damaged. In very serious cuts, blood may spurt out of the wound, which indicates a serious damage of certain veins. Based on the depth and size of the wound, bleeding process may vary in amount. However, normal bleeding should stop within minutes, instead of hours or days. It is because immediately after the bleeding starts, the body triggers blood clots to help this bleeding stop. Blood clots is important in that it helps prevent blood loss, which may lead into more serious problems.
With most cuts, bleeding may not be easy to control, especially with cuts wherein the edges of the injured skin are gaped. Despite this, with sufficient and steady pressure around the wound site, bleeding should eventually stop—or drastically decrease in amount within 15 minutes. You should seek medical attention if your cut bleeds for more than 15 minutes after you put sufficient pressure. However, if you are under certain circumstances which affect the way your blood coagulates, you should not wait for 15 minutes once you have your skin cut. Otherwise, directly seek for medical attention and explain your conditions. Some of these circumstances include:
- Diabetes or pre-diabetic condition, wherein the patients are often unconscious when the skin is injured. High blood sugar also causes the blood to hardly clot, resulting in continuously bleeding cut.
- Hemophilia with inhibitors. In people with hemophilia who develops inhibitors, the immune system attacks the proteins formed by the body to stop bleeding, since it is assumed as harmful foreign substances by the immune system. As a result, it is very hard for the bleeding to stop.
When to call a doctor
Although bleeding is a natural way triggered by the body to cleanse a wound site and protect it from the risk of infection, severe bleeding should be anticipated, as it may lead into blood loss and shock. With either minor or severe cuts, bleeding should stop within 15 minutes at most. If you are bleeding for a longer period, see the doctor immediately. To sum up some critical conditions wherein a doctor attention is needed, some involved symptoms include:
- Severe bleeding on the wound site
- There is suspected internal bleeding, which can be visible through purplish bruises around the cuts or puncture wounds.
- The cut is located on the abdominal area or chest, in which main organs are located.
- Bleeding cannot be stopped or alleviated after 10 or 15 minutes of firm and steady pressure.
- There is blood spurt out of the wound.