Opportunities abound of having to play “nurse” to heal a wound. A graze gardening, cut with a kitchen knife, scrape by falling bike, a cut in the finger with pruning shears …: a wound, however small, always deserves greater attention and must be treated in as fast as we can. A simple sore can turn the big catastrophe. All wounds must be disinfected to prevent the risk of infection. Coat the wound saliva – especially if it is not that of the injured person – is cons-indicated.
Superficial or deep wound?
The pain is not a determining element: a cut with a sheet of paper between two fingers can be more painful than a deep wound in the arm. It is the same for the bleeding: in some places, the body bleeds more abundantly than others. This does not mean that the wound is deeper.
The superficial wound
For superficial wound means a simple skin abrasion, a scratch, a slight cut or scratch. It will surface when it has not been caused by a blunt object and is little scope: the affected area will be less than the size of the palm of an adult hand. You can easily curb the blood and treat the injury. Do not forget though that the same superficial wound can lead to infection.
The wound (more) deep
Disinfecting the wound, it may be deeper than it seems, especially if clean cut with a sharp object. If the wound edges suggest an injury 3-4 mm depth will reduce the bleeding by applying sterile gauze or by signing, after disinfection, adhesive strips Steri-strip type to bring the wound edges . The next step is to protect the wound with a bandage. These “strips” will remain in place for at least five days.
Faced with a deeper wound and / or larger, the doctor will practice sutures or staples pose. In severe cases, surgery will be necessary.
How to disinfect a wound?
You proceed on your own or you come to the aid of a wounded, first and foremost, always wash hands thoroughly, rubbing each finger well with soap.
• In the presence of foreign bodies embedded like gravel, earth, a thorn, twigs, grass, remove them gently with tweezers passed previously in alcohol; or when the flame of a lighter or a match.
• Rinse the wound with clean, warm water.
• Then clean the edges with soap (preferably unscented Marseille) or with a cleaning solution such as the cetavlon. Use especially not hydrophilic or cotton wadding, leaving the fibers to the wound.
• Do not rub the wound but dab it with a disinfectant or antiseptic neutral, colorless preference.
• Avoid alcohol, whether denatured or not. Indeed, alcohol causes not only a sharp pain in the application, but also the risk of damaging the skin cells and thus slow the healing process.
• Avoid – at first instance – the colored disinfectants (eosin, formerly Mercurochrome, iso-betadine, etc.) because their staining might mask any foreign body. You can use them later for their drying and healing power.
A superficial wound should be buffered with sterile gauze, knowing that you should never rub, at the risk of aggravating the injury (not to mention the inconvenience pain).
If the wound is bleeding a lot, it will be necessary to conduct a compression using sterile cotton or cloth (clean) to stem the bleeding.
If after ten to fifteen minutes, the bleeding continues, or if the blood flows through jets, emergency management, while maintaining compression.
The application of hydrogen peroxide provides a coagulating effect.
How to clean the wound?
The wound is cleaned from the center to the edges, tapping with sterile gauze or a clean cloth, and far beyond with disinfectant. It is better to put on too much than not enough, and thus enable radically remove dirt.
In the reverse order, ie the periphery of the wound toward the center, this could fold infectious agents.
And if a bleeding wound must obviously be treated (especially quickly and forcefully that the stream is important), the blood flow is not necessarily a bad thing, since it serves to remove some impurities.
When will it urgent?
• Any major wound of the hand or fingers, even if the bleeding seems under control, requires the advice of a doctor.
• A wound to the chest, abdomen, to the eye, to the temple or touching an articulation requires prompt medical attention.
• If you cut, wrap in a clean cloth, which will be placed in a plastic bag, in turn deposited in a container with ice. Caution: Never put the severed part in direct contact with the ice.
• It is prudent to ensure that vaccination against tetanus is up to date. Otherwise, a point will be necessary. Tetanus vaccine must be renewed every ten years, but the doctor may nevertheless decide preventive reminder, even if the injury occurs less than ten years after the last booster.
• Diabetics and patients with circulatory problems or blood clotting consult a doctor in case of wound itself (relatively) shallow.
How to protect a wound?
Protect the wound with a bandage if it may be exposed to dirt, acidity, chemical products or rubbing against clothing. Otherwise, let the injury heal in the open air, however, knowing that contrary to popular belief, gall heal faster in moisture with a bandage.
When will form a crust, do not scratch: it protects the wound against contamination.
Unless medically indicated, the dressing should not be repeated too often, as this may slow healing (some types dressings also allow to speed).
If the edges of the wound are jagged irregular or if you develop redness and swelling around the wound, if a foreign body (splinter, earth, sand) remains embedded in the wound, if a thick liquid drains off or if there is presence of pus, medical advice is required.
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