Friday, 15 January 2016

First aid brushup: Wound management - Bleeding from the ear


Bleeding from the ear can result from different causes.  A burst eardrum may have been caused by trauma, an explosion, or a foreign body being pushed into the ear.  In this case, the casualty may have difficulty standing and complain of deafness and sharp pain or earache.

Image from here

If the casualty has sustained a blow to the head, the ear may bleed watery blood.  This is serious and suggests a possible skull fracture.


Conscious casualty

Encourage the patient to sit with their head leaning toward the injured side so the blood drains.  If the injury is minor, apply gentle pressure with a clean sterile pad.

If the injury may be serious, place the casualty in the recovery position with a clean pad under the ear.  Allow it to drain freely.  An ambulance should be called.

Unconscious casualty

Perform resuscitation if necessary and send for an ambulance.  After breathing is restored, put the casualty in the recovery position with the injured ear downward and allow the ear to drain into a clean pad.  Do not plug the ear


As with other posts in this series, the information supplied is from Kym Eden's Fun with First Aid (2013).

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