Medical Emergency – Stop the Bleed

If you encounter someone bleeding profusely:

  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Remain calm and reassure patent that medical assistance is on the way.
  • Expose wound by moving or tearing clothing away.
  • Apply firm, direct pressure to the wound using gauze or a clean cloth.
  • If the pressure does not stop the bleeding, and the dressing becomes soaked with blood, you will need to apply a tourniquet if available.

If a STOP THE BLEED KIT is available:

  • Apply a tourniquet if direct pressure does not stop the bleeding.
  • Position the tourniquet at least 2-3 inches from the wound and between the wound and the heart. DO NOT apply over a joint, such as elbow, knee, wrist, or ankle.
  • Manually turn the tourniquet as much as you can.
  • Use a rod, twisting in one direction to further tighten the tourniquet and stop the bleeding.
  • Secure the rod to the tourniquet so it will not unwind.
  • Note the time that the tourniquet was applied.


UF Police Department (UFPD)/Gator Emergency Medical Response Unit (GEMRU)


Department of Homeland Security – Applying a Tourniquet

Version Date: February 2024