For the 9th part of Wound Care we will focus on Infections, Diseases and ways to prevent or control them once they have begun. “An infection is a condition caused by the invasion of the body by germ” these germs can be bacteria in nature or even viral. During our First Aid Course we run into many questions about infection & Disease Control, we consider disease control such a high priority that we even offer a course designed specifically to address Diseases “Blood-Born Pathogens“. During a First Aid we will advise all rescuers to “Consider ALL patients/victims as infectious” & always avoid bodily fluids during First Aid!
Common Cause’s of Infection:
- Foreign bodies like dirt, or other things containing germs that get into a wound
Routs of Entry for Disease:
- Direct Contact “When you touch the blood of someone infected“
- Indirect Contact “When you touch something used by an infected individual“
- Airborne Transmission “When an infected person sneezes, sending germs into the air and you breath them in“
- Vector-Borne “When a mosquito bites an infected person then bites you.”
- Wear PPE or Personal Protective Equipment when available
- Always wash your hands before and after giving first aid.
- Whenever possible “WEAR GLOVES” avoid bodily fluids
- Use sterile dressings when caring for wounds
- “Keep your immunizations up to date” if you have a wound and have not received a “Tetanus” shot in more than “Five Years” seek medical attention. REMEMBER “Immunizations ARE beneficial” IT IS A MYTH that immunizations cause birth defects.
- Use antibiotic ointment on a wound to help reduce risk of infection
- keep wounds clean
**HAND SANITIZERS** and alcohol rubs must NOT replace hand washing, if you use hand sanitizer its a good practice to wash your hands after the THIRD use!
What Infection Looks Like:
-Redness -Red Streaks moving away from the wound within the skin – Pus -Heat or warmth – Fever – Tenderness – Swelling – Nausea – Discolored flesh
How to Help:
- Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / Circulation” REMEMBER – Wear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.
- Call 911 or if you suspect the infection could be severe like meningitis, whooping cough or if the victim has a fever above 102F / 39C. Or if their airway could be blocked by mucus or an infected organ such as tonsils. “In Alberta you can call “811” as well to speak to a registered nurse for a consult, they may give you options or even recommend further medical attention.”
- Care for the infection by:
- Keep the wound clean, if the infection spreads, changes color or begins to smell seek medical attention.
- Change bandages frequently and let wounds dry to reduce chance of infection.
**BABY OR CHILD WITH A FEVER OVER 30C (102F)**
- Young children or babies with a high fever can have seizures also known as “Febrile Seizures“. In most cases these are not life-threatening and they do not last long. To prevent “febrile seizures“
- Give the child medication recommended by the child’s doctor to reduce the fever.
- Give the child a sponge bath with water that is room temperature “Not icy cold“
- Provide continual care “Many Children may have a Febrile Seizure while sleeping and unattended“
Sense these steps only “Temporarily” lower the temperature, seek further medical attention.
In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!
Swoop into First Aid and give a breath of Life, let first aid training in Edmonton be your Saving Grace.