Wound Care Guide

By: Kadie Snipes


  • Skin scraped against rough surface
  • Top layer of skin wears away
  • Often exposed to dirt and foreign materials=increased risk for infection
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  • Sharp or pointed object tears tissues-results in wound with jagged edges
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  • Wound with smooth edges

Puncture Wound

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

Avulsion Wounds

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

Instructions for Wound Care

Controlling External Bleeding

  • Apply direct pressure with gauze-if blood comes through gauze, apply more gauze to top
  • Elevate wound above heart if possible-bleeding will slow but keep pressure to wound
  • Apply pressure to an artery to decrease blood flow to an area

Immediate Care

  • Always use universal precautions: All wounds should be treated as though they have been contaminated with bloodborne pathogens
  • Put on gloves
  • Clean wounds with soap, water and sterile solution
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  • Sterile dressing
  • Antibacterial ointments are effective in limiting bacterial growth and preventing wound from sticking to dressing

When To Use Sutures

Sutures (stitches) Necessary?

  • deep lacerations, incisions and occasionally punctures
  • Might be needed if wound edges cannot be pushed back together easily
  • Physician must make decision
  • Sutures should be used within 12 hours of injury
  • Can use sterile tips if stitches are not required

Signs of Wound Infection

Wound Infection

  • Pain
  • Heal
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Disordered Function
  • Pus may form due to accumulation of white blood cells
  • Fever May develop as immune system fights bacterial infection

Reduce Risk of Infection

  • Make sure all instruments used are sterilized
  • Wash hands and put on non-latex gloves
  • clean a skin lesion using soap and water
  • Place a non-medical dressing on lesion if athlete is being sent for medical attention
  • Avoid touching parts of a sterile dressing that will come in contact with the wound
  • Place medication on pad rather than directly on the skin
  • Secure dressing with tape or wrap