Wound Care Guide

By: Jordan Silveira

Types of Wounds:

Abrasion

An abrasion occurs when the skin is scraped against a rough surface and the top layer of skin wears away. Often, the wound is exposed to dirt and foreign materials which results in an increased risk for infection.

Laceration

A laceration occurs when a sharp or pointed object tears the tissue. This results in a would with jagged edges.

Incision

An incision is a wound with smooth edges.

Puncture Wounds

A puncture wound occurs when an object impales the skin. Can easily occur during activity but could be fatal. Could introduce tetanus bacillus to bloodstream.

Avulsion

An avulsion wound occurs when the skin is torn from the body, which results in major bleeding. If this occurs, place the avulsed tissue in maoist gauze (saline). plastic bag and immerse in cold water. The, take to hospital for reattachment.

Step by Step: Caring for Wounds

Immediate Care

Use universal precautions: all wounds should be treat as though they have been contaminated with blood-borne pathogens. The first step is to is ALWAYS to put on gloves! To minimize infection, clean wound with copious amounts of soap and water and sterile solution.

Dressing

Always use a sterile dressing to cover a wound. Antibacterial ointments are effective in limiting bacterial growth and preventing wound from sticking to dressing.

Steps to Control External Bleeding

1. Direct Pressure

  • Pressure on wound with gauze
  • If blood comes through, do not remove gauze, add more

2. Elevation

  • Elevate above heart if possible- slows bleeding
  • Continue pressure

3. Pressure Points

  • Apply pressure to an artery to decrease blood flow to an area
  • 2 main options: brachial artery- upper arm and femoral artery- top of thigh

When are Sutures (Stitches) Needed?

Are Sutures (Stitches) Necessary?

Deep laceration, incisions and occasionally punctures most commonly require stitches. They may be needed if wound edges cannot be easily pushed back together. The decision should be made by a physician. Sutures should be used within 12 hours. Can use steri-strips if stitches are not required.

Wound Infection

5 Signs

  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 bacterial infection.