Wound Care – Part 2 “Cuts & Scrapes”
For our second part of Wound Care lets focus on one of the most common injuries we sustain on a daily basis, whether it be from a paper cut, road rash or even snipping with a bread knife wounds happen almost every day. Lets look at how we can help someone with a cut “a wound where the skin has been split open or torn away with either jagged or smooth edges“, or a scrape “a wound where the skin has been rubbed or scraped away”.
- -Dull knives or improper safety technique during cutting
- -Falling or impacting on an abrasive surface
- -Contact with dull, abrasive or sharp object with force enough to rub or scrape the skin away.
What to Look for:
- -Skin pealed away
- -Pain & Tenderness
- -Raised or swollen area with potentially broken skin
How to Help:
1) Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / Circulation”
2) Call 911 if you suspect the injuries could be severe.
3) Care for the scrape or cut by:
- -*REMEMBER* Put your gloves on if there is bodily fluids.
- -Wash the wound with soap & clean cool water.
- -If possible rinse the wound with cool clean running water for up to five minutes to help reduce infection & bleeding. Once the wound is clean and if bleeding persists apply “Direct Pressure” on the wound until the bleeding stops, if the blood soaks through the dressing -ADD more dressings on top- Do not remove blood soaked bandages as they are already assisting in clotting the wound. If bleeding persists seek further medical attention.
- -Antibiotic ointments or creams may be applied once the bleeding has stopped. Follow the directions recommended by a pharmacists and check the “5 Rights of Medications” **Always ask the person if they have allergies or sensitivity to antibiotics such as penicillin, if so “Do NOT apply the ointment**
- -Cover the wound with a non-stick sterile dressing if available or bandage.
- -Continue to monitor for signs of infection
If there is substantial amount of dirt or contaminant’s within the wound, the injured person should seek further medical attention to avoid the risk of infection.
Any wound that needs “Stitches” should be assessed and stitched by a trained medical professional as soon as possible “Golden Hour Rule” wounds should be assessed and stitched within an hour if possible to avoid complications, stitches help speed healing, reduce chance of infection and leave a less noticeable scar. A wound may need to be stitched if:
- -The wound is more than 2 1/2 cm or 1 inch long
- -Edges of the wound do not fall together
- -The wound is near a joint or on the hands or feet
- -The wound is on the face
We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.
“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!