ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
Never leave open cuts uncovered in a laboratory environment: even a small cut left uncovered can quickly become a suppurating wound if exposed to chemical or bacterial contaminants. Cuts exposed to corrosive chemicals can be extremely painful and take much longer than usual to heal.10
Apply the following steps for deep cuts:
1. Immediately apply continuous, firm pressure over the wound, using the cleanest material available at the accident site. If necessary your hand can be used.
2. If possible, raise the bleeding site above heart level.
3. If bleeding is difficult to stop, apply greater pressure over the area of the wound.
4. If severe blood loss has occurred, lay the victim on his or her back and raise the legs above the head.
5. If part of the body has been severed, wrap the tissue in the cleanest material available. Do not allow the victim to eat or drink. Transport rapidly to the nearest hospital or emergency service.
Coughing or vomiting blood and continuous, localised, but spreading pain are signs of internal bleeding. Other indications, which appear later, are blood in urine and faeces. Where internal bleeding is suspected:
1. Lay the victim on his or her back and raise the legs above the head.
2. Arrange for transfer to a hospital. Do not allow the victim to eat or drink.