AN Australian doctor has revealed a simple trick that could save your life after a shark attack.
Dr Nicholas Taylor, Associate Dean of the ANU Medical School, surfer and lead author on the study, has said making a fist and pushing hard on the femoral artery can stop bleeding almost immediately, providing vital time for help to arrive.
He first developed the idea after a family holiday to Western Australia at a time when there had been a spate of shark attacks.
He said: “If someone has been bitten on their leg, you only need to find the middle point between the hip and the genitals, make a fist and push as hard as you can.
“I believe this could be life-saving if someone is bleeding heavily from their leg following a shark attack.”
After speaking to surfers and surf life savers he found most would instinctually react to a shark bite wound by placing direct pressure on it or attempting to make a tourniquet from material they had on hand.
Dr Taylor said his emergency room training told him that this would be a mistake.
He thought a better solution would be to cut the flow from the femoral artery, by having a second person to push their bodyweight into the area to prevent the victim from rapidly bleeding out.
“This new method saves time and works better than using a leg rope or looking for something else to use as a tourniquet,” he said.
Dr Taylor said studies have shown the method stopped 100 per cent of blood flow in 75 per cent of participants.
This makes it more effective than a commonly-used tourniquet.
The researchers also tested whether a wetsuit might make it more difficult but found it made no difference.
Dr Taylor hopes the first-aid trick can now be used at beaches not only across Australia but around the world to save the lives of surfers and swimmers following attacks.
This advice comes at a time where the number of shark attacks has exploded across the globe – seeing nearly 800 people mauled in just nine years.
America has overtaken Australia for the number of attacks with Cape Cod, Massachusetts, now considered the shark capital of the world.
This year has seen 49 shark attacks – six being fatal – across the globe, as the underwater predators continue to get closer to humans.
The US recorded the largest number of shark bites, reporting 33 incidents, while Australia recorded 18.