Mild, Moderate, and Severe Bleeding
With severe bleeding, any of these may be true:
- Blood is pumping from the wound.
- The bleeding does not stop or slow down with pressure.
- Blood is quickly soaking through bandage after bandage.
With moderate bleeding, any of these may be true:
- The bleeding slows or stops with pressure but starts again if you remove the pressure.
- The blood may soak through a few bandages, but it is not fast or out of control.
With mild bleeding, any of these may be true:
- The bleeding stops on its own or with pressure.
- The bleeding stops or slows to an ooze or trickle after 15 minutes of pressure. It may ooze or trickle for up to 45 minutes.
If you have anemia or low blood volume for other reasons, such as recent diarrhea or dehydration, blood loss from a severe cut can quickly become serious. Scalp wound bleeding in children also can rapidly lead to serious blood loss. Bleeding is more serious when:
- New lightheadedness occurs or you feel as if you may pass out.
- Lightheadedness or fainting occurs when you change position, such as rising from sitting to standing.
Serious injuries or deep cuts over the neck, chest, or abdomen may cause internal bleeding. Watch for signs of shock.
Current as of: June 6, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine