(General recommendations. Please note that some advice may not apply to all areas of the body to the same extent and always consult a doctor in case of doubt).

Bleeding can always occur after surgery – usually within the first three days, but also up to 2 weeks after. It is important to recognize when it is definitely important to get to your doctor or emergency services immediately. Bleeding is usually critical when:

  • bright red blood is pulsating from the wound
  • a lot of blood is visibly lost (general weakness, paleness) and the blood loss may have gone unnoticed for some time (e.g., during sleep)
  • the bleeding is steadily increasing
  • the bleeding comes from the throat/pharynx (risk of suffocation)
  • a suture is torn out
  • the bleeding can´t be stopped by compression
  • it is not clear where the blood is actually coming from
  • the risk is greater with hypertension
  • there is simultaneously an infection of the wound (severe redness, pus, great tension on sutures, increased temperature, sweating)

In all these cases mentioned, it is important to see a doctor quickly!

But even then, along the way, you should try to at least keep the bleeding down by taking the following measures:
compression bandage (pressing on preferably sterile compress from an emergency kit, no physical exertion, if possible cooling, have an escort and/or request an ambulance), call your surgeon for specific recommendations.

If all this does not apply, you can – at first – try to stop the bleeding yourself. The following measures may help:

  • Compression, pressure bandage.
    The type of pressure bandage depends on the body region. Sometimes only constant pressure of a compress on the wound succeeds in achieving the desired effect. Where possible, you can apply a circular bandage that holds the pressure without your own constant application of force (forehead bandage/circular head bandage, circular bandage on the extremities (but not too tight, so that the blood circulation is not completely interrupted) or even on the trunk.
  • Cool.
    See if you have cold packs to cool the wound. But not continuously, take a short (5min) break every now and then.
  • Renew the bandage.
    This can be helpful immediately for small wounds. For larger ones, compression should have been successful before.
  • Keep calm, no physical exertion.
    Physical exertion increases blood pressure, which can cause or increase bleeding. You can also lower blood pressure in the bleeding area specifically by keeping the affected region elevated (e.g., foot/hand elevated, head area: sit upright/do not lie down)
  • Check whether you have taken any anticoagulant medications (anticoagulants, ASS). However, only discontinue these after consulting your doctor.

Should your measures show no success after 30 minutes, you should definitely see a doctor.

Note also the information on bleeding during dental implant surgery.