How to clean a wound
By: Bev and Chris ~
HOW TO CLEAN A WOUND
Wash/clean your hands, wear gloves if you have them.
Things to consider when assessing the wound:
Is the person on blood thinners, Aspirin or NSAIDS? (hard to stop bleeding)
Have they lost function of fingers, toes, arms or legs?(tendon/ligament damage) needs to be seen now.
Is the wound deep? Can you see layers? This may need stitches, it
it needs to be seen withing hours.
Is this a dirty wound? Consider the need for a tetanus shot soon.
Bite wounds by humans and dogs have high risk of infection, so do cat bites and scratches.
Clean it and keep it clean
This is how you reduce the chance of infection. You don't need alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. It can damage healthy skin and delay healing.
Yes, the cowboys used it, but they had bad water and didn't have antibiotics....... Alcohol can be used for adult pain control and for the person who has to clean the wound.
All you need is clean water, and some soap. It doesn't need to be antibacterial.
Gently wash it under running/bottled water.
As you are cleaning out the wound, removing dirt and rocks that are embedded.
You can use clean tweezers to remove it. Or a clean cloth to brush it out.
The longer the better under running water.
5-10 minutes will clean out a dirty wound.
Animal and human bites/scratches should be rinsed under clean water for about 10-15 minutes.
Immediate cleaning can reduce the risk for infection. It's ok for the wound to rebleed a bit while cleaning.
NOW THAT THE WOUND IS CLEAN
Keep it moist with an antibiotic ointment. There are ointments that have a pain reliever in them.
Cover it to keep it clean.
Change the Band-Aid/dressing when it is wet or dirty.
Look at it every day.
Yes, you can shower.
There is a sports product called "tender tape." It sticks to itself and is handy if you have a dressing, or a child that doesn't like the adhesive, or a hairy area...makes the dressing change easier too. If the dressing sticks, you can use water to help loosen it. The coated bandages usually prevent this.
Signs that the wound isn't healing or looks infected, needs evaluation.
Increased redness, tenderness, warmth or swelling can be signs of infection. This can happen with bug bites too!
If it looks like it isn't healing or something isn't right have it seen! If you can't get into a clinic, have a nurse triage you. Many are available on the phone. Check if your clinic or hospital has this service. They give great sound advice. They will help you determine urgency of being seen.
There are resistant strains of bacteria, have signs of infection evaluated.
Children and older adults/diabetics have increased risk!
If you are on blood thinners, it may take longer to stop the bleeding. Hold firm pressure for at least 10-15 min. Don't peek! If you do start the clock again! If you are unable to control the bleeding, you need to have it evaluated.
Elevate above the level of the heart and a cool pack may help slow it down till you get help.
Are you up to date on your Tetanus shot? Something to think about if you can't remember or it's been over 10 years.
We keep our supplies in a TRAVELRX BAG. Easy to grab and we know everything is in it! Make sure we have the favorite band-aids for the kids and we are good to go!
Blue Skies & Tailwinds!