Bleeding and wounds

Choose the right healthcare service to get the care you need and to enable the NHS to help the greatest number of people.

GREEN Self-care or ask a pharmacist for advice

Bleeding wounds

Minor cuts and grazes

Wounded hand or arm, raise it above the head

Wounded lower limb, raise it above the level of the heart

If nothing’s stuck in the wound, put pressure on it using a clean bandage or clean cloth for 10 minutes

When the bleeding has stopped, firmly wrap a new clean bandage over the first cloth or bandage

If the wound keeps bleeding, leave the first bandage in place and add another clean bandage or cloth. Keep pressing firmly on the wound for another 10 minutes

Do not use aspirin or anti-inflammatories as pain relief; it may increase oozing or bleeding from the wound

AMBER It is urgent but not life threatening

A wound has soil, pus or body fluids in it, or is still dirty after cleaning

Bite wound from a person or animal

Cut is swollen, red, getting more painful or pus is coming out of it

Cut is larger than 5cm (2″)

Wounded and feel unwell, or have a high temperature

Wound is not healing

Go to an Urgent Treatment Centre at:

  • St. Mary’s Community Health Campus, Portsmouth.
  • Gosport War Memorial Hospital
  • Petersfield Hospital


Call 111 or visit

RED It is a life-threatening medical emergency

Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

Blood comes out in spurts, is bright red and hard to control

Loss of function or sensation caused by the wound

Bad cut to the face or palm of the hand

Wound is very large or deep

Something is stuck in the cut; do not attempt to take it out

Call 999, or go immediately to Emergency Department, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham