Varicose veins have tense, thin walls and they often bulge significantly, typically producing knobbly skin over the affected area. The vein can be burst by a gentle knock, and this may result in profuse bleeding. Shock will quickly develop if the bleeding is not controlled.
- Help the casualty to lie down on their back. Raise and support the injured leg as high as possible to immediately reduce the amount of bleeding.
- Rest the injured leg on your shoulder or a chair. Apply firm, direct pressure on the injury using a sterile dressing or a clean, non-fluffy pad until the blood loss is under control. If necessary, carefully cut away clothing to expose the site of the bleeding.
- Remove garments such as garters or elastic topped socks as these may cause the bleeding to continue.
- Keeping the leg raised, put another large, soft pad over the dressing. Bandage it firmly enough to exert even pressure, but not so tightly that the circulation in the limb is impaired.
- Call 999/112 for emergency help. Keep the injured leg raised and supported until help arrives. Monitor and record vital signs – level of response, breathing and pulse regularly. In addition, check the circulation in the limb beyond the bandage every ten minutes.