The textbook definition of hemorrhage is any type of bleeding or loss of blood. In the medical world, though, it typically refers to severe bleeding. You wouldn’t call a papercut a hemorrhage. Think trauma, deep cuts, arterial bleeding. If you call first responders talking about someone hemorrhaging, they’re going to prepare for significant injuries. It’s a useful way of classifying how injured someone is and what kind of response is needed. Even within the hemorrhage definition, medical experts have laid out different categories to help responders and medical providers understand what’s at stake and the best way to treat a patient. Let’s take a look at the different types of hemorrhages and what they mean.
In the medical world, the word preceding the word “hemorrhage” or “hemorrhaging” often refers to the location on the body where bleeding is occurring. Perhaps the most well-known example of this is intracranial hemorrhaging. Intracranial indicates bleeding inside the brain. Even then, the place where bleeding is happening can get more specific. Within intracranial hemorrhaging, you have a subdural hematoma, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and epidural hematoma. (A hematoma is an area where there is pooled blood, like a clot. If you want to know where hemorrhage is located, pay attention to the words preceding it that indicate location.
Different categories of hemorrhage are tied to their severity. Here’s a basic breakdown of the different classes and what they mean.
Category 1 – This is any blood loss lower than 15% of the human body’s total blood. It usually means no serious treatment is necessary. Things like a nosebleed, a minor cut, scrapes, etc. are listed in category 1.
Category 2 – This is any blood loss that registers at 15%-20% of total blood count. Treatment for a category 2 hemorrhage often involves IV fluid. Patients will experience lightheadedness, fatigue, and may become visibly pale.
Category 3 – Usually 30%-40% blood loss. This is now getting much more serious. Category 3 injuries will need blood transfusions and other fluids. Patients who suffer this type of injury will become noticeably disoriented, even confused or irritable.
Category 4 – Anything greater than 40% loss of blood. This is when life is on the line and most usually involves very serious injury. Conditions are life-threatening and need immediate medical attention for patients to survive.
Again, the categories refer to the loss of blood. A category 1 injury can progress into a category 2 and so on if the proper treatment isn’t administered soon enough.
Treatment will vary depending on what category of hemorrhage the patient is experiencing. For most bleeding injuries, the most important thing to be done initially is to make some effort to control the bleeding. That usually means applying pressure to the wound. If you’ve got a cut on your wrist, it’s something you can do yourself by taking your other hand and firmly pressing down on the cut. Hopefully, after a couple of minutes, the blood will coagulate and stop. If someone has a very large wound or is incapacitated as a result of injuries suffered, then someone else will have to treat the wound. Things like gauze pads and other bandages can help control hemorrhages, and there are innovative medical products like Israeli bandages that have coagulants inside them that help stop bleeding faster. Getting fluids into a patient who has lost a significant amount of blood will help prevent their condition from deteriorating, avoid hemorrhagic shock, and will help them recover faster.
Of course, depending on where the hemorrhage is located, treatment may become much more complex. It’s hard to put pressure on internal bleeding, for example. What do you do if someone has a hemorrhage in their eye or stomach? The best thing you can do is call emergency responders and get the patient to a medical facility as soon as possible.
Using Peptides for Hemorrhagic Shock
Aside from worries over losing large amounts of blood, getting treatment for hemorrhages quickly is critical to lower the impact of hemorrhagic shock. A peptide PT-141 was investigated as a possible treatment for hemorrhagic shock. According to research conducted, PT-141 reduces ischemia, or the lack of oxygen in the heart, and protects tissues from the low blood supply. PT-141 has also been researched to help improve sexual arousal disorders in both males and females.
Timing and quality of treatment are crucial in the fight against all categories of hemorrhage. While they differ in severity, any loss of blood should get the appropriate attention to ensure the condition doesn’t worsen and the patient’s health isn’t at greater risk. Thankfully, the medical industry is working hard to develop new and effective solutions available to everyone.