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Miss Iverson Is Bleeding

This afternoon, nursing assistant Abdul is checking on the patients in his care at Morningside Hospital. He knocks on Miss Iverson’s door. After she answers, he enters and notices that she is in distress. Abdul asks her what happened, and she tells him that her cut from that morning had started to bleed again. She cut her arm after helping another resident try to clean up a glass that had broken at breakfast. Miss Iverson looks pale and worried as she talks with Abdul about her arm.

Abdul looks more carefully at Miss Iverson’s forearm and sees the cut is bleeding externally, through her bandage. Bleeding can be external, where the blood is easily visible, or internal, inside the body, and can be serious and life-threatening, especially if the bleeding is severe. Because blood may spray or splatter the area, nursing staff should always follow standard precautions for infection and wear gloves, a face mask, and eye protection. Internal bleeding can be especially concerning because it is not immediately apparent to the patient or to the nursing staff.

Abdul gets a pair of gloves so he can examine Miss Iverson’s cut and change her bandage. He unwraps the bandage and examines the cut. The bleeding is not severe, but Abdul decides to put pressure on the cut to help slow the bleeding down. He holds a sterile bandage over Miss Iverson’s forearm and puts pressure on it for a couple of minutes. When Abdul lifts up the bandage, he can see that the bleeding has stopped, so he puts a new sterile bandage on Miss Iverson’s arm and wraps it to keep it in place.

Now that the bleeding has stopped, Miss Iverson looks and feels much better. Abdul checks her bandage and her blood pressure throughout the day to make sure that she is feeling well and that her cut is healing.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners