Wound Care Guide

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Abrasion

an area damaged by scraping or wearing away

How to treat

Clean the wound with a non-fibre shedding material or sterile gauze, and use an antiseptic such as Betadine. If there is embedded dirt, Savlon may be used as it contains an antiseptic and a surfactant to help remove debris. Rinse the wound after five minutes with sterile saline or flowing tap water.

Don’t scrub at embedded dirt, as this can traumatise the site even more.

Cover the cleaned wound with an appropriate non-stick sterile dressing.

Change the dressing according to the manufacturer’s instructions (some may be left in place for several days to a week). If you reapply antiseptic, wash it off after five minutes and then redress the wound.

Infection

  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area.
  • Red streaks extending from the affected area.
  • Drainage of pus from the area.
  • Fever
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Laceration

a deep cut or tear in skin or flesh.

How to treat

Apply direct pressure on the area.


Clean the area with warm water and gentle soap.
Apply an antibiotic ointment to reduce chance of infection.
Put a sterile bandage on the area. In some people, antibiotic ointments may cause a rash. If this happens, stop using the ointment.


Call a health care provider if:
The cut is deep or over a joint
You cannot get the cut or laceration clean
The injury is a deep puncture wound or the person has not had a recent (within the last 5 to 10 years) tetanus shot or booster
The cut is from a human or animal bite


For a minor cut or laceration, remove bandage after a couple of days to promote healing.
See a heath care provider if the cut doesn't heal or shows signs of infection, including redness, swelling, pus, or excessive pain.

Infection

  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area.
  • Red streaks extending from the affected area.
  • Drainage of pus from the area.
  • Fever
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Puncture

A puncture wound has a small entry hole caused by a pointed object, such as a nail that you've stepped on. In contrast, a cut is an open wound that produces a long tear in the skin. Puncture wounds require different treatment from cuts because these small holes in the skin can disguise serious injury.

How to treat it

    Remove the Object if You Can. If the object that caused the puncture is small and you can easily remove it, do so.
      Stop the Bleeding. Apply firm, direct pressure with sterile gauze or clean cloth until bleeding stops.
        Clean and Protect the Wound. Rinse the wound under clean water for several minutes
          Treat Pain.

          Infection

          • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area.
          • Red streaks extending from the affected area.
          • Drainage of pus from the area.
          • Fever
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          Avulsion

          The complete tearing away or forcible separation of flesh

          How to treat it

          Allowing the wound to heal on its own, growing new skin from the edges into the middle

          Stitching the edges of the wound together, if the wound is small

          Reattaching the avulsed skin

          Grafting skin over the wound

          Infection

          • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area.
          • Red streaks extending from the affected area.
          • Drainage of pus from the area.
          • Fever
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          Incision

          They are caused by a clean, sharp-edged object such as a knife, razor, or glass splinter.

          How to treat it

          Elevate the wound above your heart for a few days to lessen swelling and pain and to speed healing.

          Don't pull on stitches, staples, tape, or surgical glue.

          Avoid scratching an itchy wound. ...

          If you have a skin adhesive, keep the wound away from direct sunlight.

          Infection

          • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area.
          • Red streaks extending from the affected area.
          • Drainage of pus from the area.
          • Fever

          How to tell if you need stitches

          Deep enough to expose the dermis or yellow subcutaneous fatty tissue
          Gaping open so that you can’t easily use gentle pressure to press the edges together

          Located on or across a joint (You may also have damaged nerves, tendons, or ligaments.)

          The result of an animal or human bite (You may need a tetanus booster shot or oral antibiotics, as well as stitches.)

          A result of a foreign object impaling the area
          Made by a high-pressure impact from a projectile like a bullet

          Contaminated or resulting from a very dirty or rusty object

          Bleeding profusely (and flow does not appear to slow)
          On a cosmetically significant area, such as the face

          On or near the genitalia