First Aid For Wounds

First Aid For Wounds

First Aid For Wounds
Many wounds can be treated at home with proper first aid. It is important to keep the wound clean to speed healing and to reduce infection. Learn more about first aid for wounds from our experts.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Seashell, barnacle, or coral cuts can cause a serious infection. Wash, disinfect and talk to your doc about antibiotic treatment—and do it promptly. Don't ignore it.
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    Here are tips on how you can care for your wound after surgery:

    If your wound is closed with staples: If your doctor closed your wound with staples, you'll get instructions on how to clean the area and change the dressing. Your doctor may want you to leave the dressing on as long as it is clean and dry or may want you to change the dressing. The staples will be removed by your doctor or physical therapist.

    If your wound is closed with steri-strips: On your surgery site, you may have special strips of tape called steri-strips. Steri-strips help keep the skin closed while it heals. Leave the steri-strips on until your healthcare provider tells you it's okay to remove them. It's okay to get the steri-strips wet in your shower -- just gently pat the area dry when you are done.

    Showering: Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can shower once you are home and can safely move in the bathroom. Getting in and out of the shower can be very tiring. The heat from the shower can be soothing, but it may make you more unsteady. At first, you'll need help with your shower so you won't fall. Use a tub bench or chair in the shower.
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    You can reduce the risk of disease transmission by washing your hands immediately after giving first aid, avoiding direct contact with blood, and using appropriate protective barriers. All of these are universal precautions. (This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern Kentucky University Athletic Training Education Program.)
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    Soap and water are recommended wound care for all lacerations. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are not recommended for wound care. (This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern Kentucky University Athletic Training Education Program.)
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    A answered

    Stop any bleeding by applying pressure on the wound. Remember to keep holding it (don’t peek)! Every time you relieve the pressure, the bleeding will restart. So hold on and apply pressure for at least ten minutes. (Be prepared: Scalp and tongue wounds are especially bloody, so try not to overreact. Follow the same steps for these wounds.)

    From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

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    A answered

    Stitches are used to hold a wound together while it heals. Stitches must be done within 8 to 12 hours of the injury so germs do not get trapped under the skin. Depending on the wound characteristics, a product known as "skin glue," butterfly bandages, or Steri-Strips may be used to join the wound edges together.

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    Arc SS CH7 UMT Figure 3
    Note: Always follow standard precautions and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying a tourniquet.
    • Position the tourniquet around the limb, approximately 2 inches (about 2 finger widths) above the wound but not over a joint.

    • Route the tag end of the strap through the buckle, if necessary.
    • Pull the strap tightly and secure it in place.

    • Tighten the tourniquet by twisting the rod until the flow of bleeding stops and secure the rod in place. Do not cover the tourniquet with clothing.

      • Note and record the time that you applied the tourniquet and give this information to emergency medical service (EMS) personnel.
      Arc SS CH7 UMT Figure 3
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      Arc SS CH7 CEB Figure 2
      Use disposable gloves and other personal protective equipment.

      After checking the injured person:
      • Cover the wound with a sterile dressing.
      • Apply direct pressure until bleeding stops.

      • Cover the dressing with a bandage.

      • Check for circulation beyond the injury (check for feeling, warmth and color).
      If bleeding does not stop:
      • Apply additional dressings and bandages and continue to apply more pressure.
      • Take steps to minimize shock.
      • CALL 9-1-1 if not already done so.
      Wash hands with soap and water after giving care.
      Arc SS CH7 CEB Figure 2
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      To care for a closed wound to the abdomen:
      • While keeping the injured area still, apply cold to the affected area to control pain and swelling.
      • Carefully position the person on his or her back with the knees bent, if that position does not cause pain.
      • Keep the person from getting chilled or overheated.
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      Arc Figure 7_30D
      With a severe open injury, abdominal organs sometimes protrude through the wound.



      To care for an open wound to the abdomen, follow these steps:
      • Put on disposable gloves or use another barrier.
      • Carefully position the person on his or her back with the knees bent, if that position does not cause pain.
      • Do not apply direct pressure.
      • Do not push any protruding organs back into the open wound.
      • Remove clothing from around the wound.

      • Apply moist, sterile dressings loosely over the wound (clean, warm tap water can be used).

      • Cover dressings loosely with plastic wrap, if available.

      Arc Figure 7_30D