The term hemorrhage is used in the medical field to describe bleeding. Many different types of hemorrhages may occur, each requiring different levels of medical treatment.
The least concerning hemorrhages are those characterized as minor traumatic bleeding. These result from small wounds, and the amount of blood loss is not considered dangerous. In addition, the bleeding stops on its own without the need for medical intervention. The only area of concern is the possibility of infection setting in, which is a concern with all types of hemorrhage.
Severe traumatic bleeding is a greater cause for concern. With severe hemorrhages, a cloth used to cover the wound will become soaked in blood within a manner of seconds. If the bleeding is not stopped and the wound is not tended to, the person can die within a few minutes from loss of blood.
Hemorrhages may also be categorized as externalized bleeding. This is characterized by blood flowing from orifices that are naturally found on the body, such as the ears, nose, mouth, urethra, vagina, or anus. With these hemorrhages, the bleeding starts internally and is caused by disease or trauma. This is not the same as internal bleeding, however, which refers to hemorrhages that occur inside the body and cannot be seen from the outside.
Common internal hemorrhages occur in the arteries, veins, and capillaries. Those affecting the arteries, which are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to the heart, are referred to as arterial bleeding. These hemorrhages are difficult to control and are often life threatening.
Internal hemorrhages affecting the veins, which return the blood to the heart, are called venous bleeding. These are easier to control than arterial hemorrhages, and while they do require medical attention, they are not as serious arterial bleeding.
Bleeding from the capillaries, the smallest vessels in the body, is usually easier to control than arterial and venous hemorrhages. The slow nature of the bleeding from these vessels makes them highly susceptible to infection, however.
Brain hemorrhages are another form of internal bleeding. With this type of bleeding, the blood may collect in the spaces between the brain and its membranes or within the brain tissue. These hemorrhages may affect one part of the brain or be located in only one hemisphere. If not treated properly and immediately, they can be fatal or cause permanent damage.