Wound Care Guide

By Amanda Minot

Abrasions

  • Skin scraped against a rough surface.
  • Top layer of skin wears away.
  • Often exposed to dirt and foreign materials = increased risk for infection
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Lacerations

  • Sharp or pointed object tears tissues - results in wound with jagged edges.
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Punctures

  • Can easily occur during activity but could be fatal.
  • Could introduce tetanus bacillus to bloodstream.
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Avulsion

  • Skin is torn from body = major bleeding
  • Place avulsed tissue in moist gauze (saline), plastic bag and immerse in cold water.
  • Take victim to hospital for reattachment.
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Incision

  • Wound with smooth edges.
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Step-by-Step Wound Care

  1. PUT ON GLOVES!
  2. Direct Pressure - apply pressure on wound with gauze; do not remove if blood comes through - just add more gauze.
  3. Elevation - elevate above heart if possible - this slows bleeding; continue pressure.
  4. Pressure points - apply pressure to an artery to decrease blood flow to an area. Two main options: Brachial artery = upper arm; Femoral artery = top of thigh.

How Do I Know When Stitches Are Necessary?

  • Deep lacerations, incisions, and occasionally punctures may need stitches.
  • May be needed if the wound edges cannot be easily pushed back together.
  • Decision should be made by a physician.
  • Sutures should be used within 12 hours.
  • You can use steri-strips if stitches are not required.
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Signs of Wound Infection

  1. Pain
  2. Heat
  3. Redness
  4. Swelling
  5. Disordered Function
  • Pus may form due to accumulation of white blood cells
  • Fever may develop as immune system fights infection.