Emergency advice


  1. Raise and support the injured part.
  2. Hold an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel against the bruise.
  3. Do this for 10 minutes.

What are bruises?

Bruises occur when an injury causes blood to leak into the skin or tissues beneath the skin. They may not appear straight away, but the skin can still be painful and often feel tender at first. Elderly people and those taking anticoagulant (anti-clotting) drugs can bruise easily.

What to do

  1. Raise and support the injured part in a comfortable position.

  2. Hold something cold against the injury to help reduce the swelling, like an ice pack or a frozen bag of vegetables wrapped in a tea towel for at least 20 minutes.

    Take paracetamol or ibuprofen for any pain.  Do not take aspirin (unless this is prescribed for another condition) as this can make the bruising worse.  Children under 16 should not take aspirin.

    Most bruises settle after a couple of weeks.  Seek medical attention if the bruise has not gone after 3 weeks.

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