4-39. In a survival situation, you must control serious bleeding immediately because replacement fluids normally are not available and the victim can die within a matter of minutes. External bleeding falls into the following classifications (according to its source):
Arterial. Blood vessels called arteries carry blood away from the heart and through the body. A cut artery issues bright red blood from the wound in distinct spurtsor pulses that correspond to the rhythm of the heartbeat. Because the blood in the arteries is under high pressure, an individual can lose a large volume of blood in a short period when damage to an artery of significant size occurs. Therefore, arterial bleeding is the most serious type of bleeding. If not controlled promptly, it can be fatal.
Venous. Venous blood is blood that is returning to the heart through blood vessels called veins. A steady flow of dark red, maroon, or bluishblood characterizes bleeding from a vein. You can usually control venous bleeding more easily than arterial bleeding.
Capillary. The capillaries are the extremely small vessels that connect the arteries with the veins. Capillary bleeding most commonly occurs in minor cuts and scrapes. This type of bleeding is not difficult to control.
4-40. You can control external bleeding by direct pressure, indirect (pressure points) pressure, elevation, digital ligation, or tourniquet. Each method is explained below.