What to avoid and what to do when treating a wound

The first thing that comes to mind to treat a wound is the placement of any type of bandage or tourniquet that prevents bleeding. However, it may be a big mistake.

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To ensure proper wound healing and avoid infections that can lead to other health damage, several factors must be considered. To act at the right time, you must avoid a number of things when treating a wound.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body  and protects the body from viruses, bacteria and fungi. When the skin breaks, the risk of these parasites penetrating and attacking other organs is present. Also, the deeper, larger, or dirtier the wound, the more care you will need.

What to avoid when treating a wound

When it comes to treating a wound there are a few things to avoid . Placing tight bandages or tourniquets to stop bleeding is a serious mistake, as it can cause necrosis in the limb. Nor should the wound be cauterized or burned .

  1. Cotton or alcohol

The use of cotton has the disadvantage of the fibers it releases, which could cause damage if the wound is closed with these inside. It is also not positive to use alcohol or mercurochrome-based products; they are irritating and some have vasodilatory effects.

The most recommended would be to apply specific gauze pads, which do not release fibers and reduce the risks of cotton. In addition, it is more convenient to use antiseptics such as povidone-iodine (Betadine®) or chlorhexidine solutions. Despite the fact that both have a high antiseptic power, povidone is inactivated by biological fluids. In case of suppuration or blood it is more advisable to use chlorhexidine .

  1. Neither rub nor extract

There is no need to rub the wound to clean it or remove foreign objects such as dirt, glass, wood or iron. If these objects are large they may be blocking bleeding; This is a procedure that we must leave to the doctors.

There is also no need to delay the medical examination , especially in the case of large and deep wounds. Injuries caused by human or animal bites and those caused by sharp objects should not be neglected. They may need to get vaccinated against tetanus or rabies.

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Recommendations for treating a wound

A proper procedure will prevent subsequent infection and improve healing.

To avoid the risk of infection, these would be the necessary steps in wound first aid:

  • The first thing is to clean the hands of those who will help in the healing to avoid infections. The next step would be to clean the wound with tap water, hydrogen peroxide or physiological solution. Avoiding contact with blood will minimize the chances of infection.
  • Next, dry the surrounding skin, avoiding touching the wound. If we have an antiseptic it is time to use it, cleaning in circles from the inside out. We cover with gauze and a plaster or adhesive to protect the damaged skin.
  • If there is bleeding itis essential to stop it. With the hand, we will press with a gauze or a clean cloth that does not leave residues; When the outbreak ceases, the wound should be covered.
  • The time to receive medical attention should not exceed six hours. This will avoid subsequent complications, such as poor healing or infections.

Wounds in children

In the case of small wounds in children, it is recommended to wash them with tap water (running water) to clean the dirt; if you have saline or hydrogen peroxide, even better. You can use a mild soap. You have to dry the wound without rubbing it, with small touches from the inside out. An antiseptic will be applied and covered with sterile gauze and tape; the process must be repeated periodically. When the scab appears, it will no longer be necessary to continue healing.

If the wound is large and the bleeding is profuse, we will lift the part of the body so that it is higher than the heart . We will not apply tourniquets or review the wound. If there are clots in the gauze, we will leave them. If that gauze has been soaked with blood we will put another on top, but we will not remove the first one.

At first the lesion may be swollen and red, evidencing the work of the immune system to prevent infection. When the scab appears, the ideal is to apply a protection mechanism while a new tissue forms and wait for it to dry.

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  1. The importance of going to the doctor

In these cases, a visit to the doctor will be essential:

  • If the wound does not stop bleedingor if it does so intermittently, it is necessary to move . When there are foreign objects, and especially if they are large, it is necessary to go to a healthcare center. A large and deep wound should also be treated by specialists.
  • Neck, joint, genital or face wounds should be evaluated by a doctor. The first are functional areas and the face is of aesthetic care.
  • When the wound involves detachment of an organ, it is urgent to go to the healthcare center. The separate part should be taken, preferably in a container with ice.
  • If the blood that comes out is darker and pulses, itis arterial blood. It is a case of extreme gravity, which needs a quick trip to the hospital.

These considerations when treating a wound are of vital importance. The knowledge and information to care for them can make the difference between a successful cure and complications.


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