A person could be bleeding internally if they have an injury to their abdomen (their tummy or stomach area) and may need urgent help until an ambulance arrives.

Quick help 

  • Check that the person is happy for you to touch them before you give first aid. If they are unconscious and you need to check for injuries, or give lifesaving first aid, then don’t delay.
  • Lay the person on their back with their knees bent
  • Hold the edges of any wound together to control bleeding.
  • If intestines are visible DO NOT touch them.


What to look for

A wound or bruises: Look for injuries such as a bad cut, or bruises around the person’s belly button or sides. Bruises may be a sign of bleeding inside their body and can be very serious. 

Severe pain: The person can’t stand up and is holding their body where they are injured.

Nausea or vomiting: The person feels sick or is being sick. They may feel cold and sweaty at the same time.  

An abdominal injury can cause serious damage to internal organs, and a person could bleed to death. Call 111 for an ambulance if the person is in extremely bad pain or if there is a deep wound.

How you can help

Make the person comfortable 

  • Check that the person is happy for you to touch them before you give first aid. If the person is unconscious and you need to check for injuries or give lifesaving first aid, then don’t delay. 
  • Sit or lie the person down with their knees bent so they are in a comfortable position.
  • Loosen any tight clothing around their waist and neck. 
  • If you have pillows or blankets handy, place them under the person. 

Control bleeding and cover any wound

  • Hold the edges of the wound together to help stop bleeding. 
  • Cover the wound with a clean bandage soaked in warm water, or cling film, if you have them. 


  • If you can see their intestines or any part of their insides, don’t touch them. 
  • Don’t let the person eat, drink or smoke. 


If you have a person in urgent need of medical attention, call 111 now.  


Take a First Aid CourseBuy a St John first aid KitBuy the St John first aid BookTXT 111