Nina Irish Dionisio
While minor scrapes and cuts don’t normally require a rush to the ER, proper care is important to avoid infections and other complications. It is essential that the first aid care given to a wound is correct and appropriate. There are some basic guidelines of first aid care for wounds that needs to be followed to make sure infection is avoided or any further damage is prevented.
Stop the bleeding
The first step for proper wound first aid care is stopping the bleeding. Scrapes and minor cuts will normally stop bleeding on its own; however, some deeper wounds don’t, and applying pressure directly on the wound with the use of clean cloth or gauze is necessary to stop the bleeding. Keep the pressure continuously on the wound for twenty to thirty minutes.
Do not keep checking the wound if there’s still bleeding, as it can dislodge or damage fresh “clot” that’s forming, which could cause the bleeding to start again. If blood spurts or doesn’t stop after nonstop pressure, seek medical help.
Rinse out wounds with clean water. Soaps may irritate wounds, so try not to put it on the actual wound. If after washing the wound, dirt and debris are still in it, use “alcohol-cleaned” tweezers for taking out the particles. It is important to thoroughly clean wounds to reduce the risk of “tetanus”. Use a washcloth and soap for cleaning the skin area around the wound.
Put antibiotic ointment or cream to the wound after cleaning it, to keep the wound surface moist. While these products won’t make wounds heal faster, they discourage infection and permit the body’s healing process to more efficiently close the wound.
Covering the wound with bandage can help in keeping it clean and protected from harmful bacteria. After a wound has adequately healed that infection will be unlikely, exposing it to air will speed the healing.
Changing the dressing daily or when it becomes dirty or wet is important. This will help keep bacteria from forming due to dirty or wet dressings.
After these basic first aid care is done, make sure to watch out for symptoms of infection and see the doctor if swelling, drainage, redness, or warmth occurs. Doctors sometimes recommend tetanus shots for dirty or deep wounds.
Basic first aid care for wounds is essential in preventing infections that may lead to further complications. Be sure you’re ready to treat wounds with the right first aid know-how’s, and always keep a first aid kit within easy reach.