SportMed Soccer: Blood Management

Like most contact sports, bleeding is a common part of the sport of soccer. But by keeping a few simple tips in mind, a bloody situation can be taken care of with minimal effort, giving the player a chance of a speedy recovery.

Having the right equipment to deal with blood is a good first step! Wearing gloves when dealing with blood is a MUST. Nitrile gloves – rather than latex – are the preferred material. Every first aid kit should have a supply of sterile gauze that can be used to apply pressure and soak up the blood. Direct pressure with a glove hand is usually quite effective in slowing and stopping blood flow. As the gauze soaks, replace the area with new, clean gauze.

With small cuts and abrasions, clean the wound with water, saline or a wound cleanser. Once the bleeding has stopped, a bandage may be applied to cover the wound and soak up any extra blood. Larger wounds may require a higher level of intervention – stitches/glue/steri-strips. 

Once the athlete’s wound is clean and covered – IF the athlete is trying to return to play – there should be an additional bandage or gauze in place to soak up the extra blood. This can be secured by cling gauze or tape. The athlete should NOT be allowed to return to play until the blood has been cleaned off of their jersey, hands/arms/face/legs, etc. Once this is done, the bloody gauze and gloves should be double-bagged and disposed of appropriately, preferably at a hospital or clinic. 

For more information, check out and the Province Sports Academy.

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