What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Treating a Wound

December 26, 2019
The first thing that comes to mind when treating a wound is to put on a bandage to stop the bleeding. However, this can lead to a big problem.

To ensure that a wound heals properly and to avoid infections that may lead to other health problems, 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 human body’s largest organ and it protects the body from viruses, bacteria, and fungi. When the skin is broken, the risk of these parasites penetrating and attacking other organs increases. Also, the deeper, bigger or dirtier the wound is, the more careful you’ll need to be.

What you should avoid when treating a wound

When it comes to treating a wound, there are some things you should avoid. Putting on tight bandages or tourniquets to stop the bleeding is a serious mistake since it can cause necrosis in the limb. Also, don’t cauterize or burn the wound.

1. Cotton or alcohol

A cotton ball.

The problem with using cotton is that it leaves behind fibers, which could cause damage if the wound closes with them inside. Neither is it advisable to use alcohol or mercurochrome-based products. They are irritating and some have vasodilating effects.

The best thing to do would be to apply specific gauzes that don’t release fibers and reduce the risks that cotton causes. In addition, it’s ideal to use antiseptics such as povidone-iodine (Betadine®) or chlorhexidine solutions. Although both have high antiseptic properties, povidone doesn’t work with bodily fluids. In the case of pus formation or blood, it’s advisable to use chlorhexidine.

2. Don’t rub the wound or remove particles

Don’t rub the wound or remove foreign objects, such as dirty, glass, wood or iron. If these objects are large they may be blocking the bleeding. This should be left to the doctors.

Don’t delay going to see the doctor, especially if the wound is large and deep. Wounds caused by humans or animal bites and those caused by sharp objects should not be neglected. They may require a tetanus shot.

Check out this article: How to Properly Disinfect a Wound

Recommendations for treating a wound

A wound with blood on the knee.

To avoid the risk of infections, follow these first aid steps:

  • First, ensure that those cleaning the wound have clean hands. Next, clean the wound with tap water, hydrogen peroxide, or a saline solution. Avoid contact with blood as it will minimize the chance of infection.
  • The next thing will be to dry the surrounding skin, avoiding touching the wound. If there’s an antiseptic, that will be used now. Clean the wound using circular movements from the inside out. Cover the wound with gauze and tape or adhesive to protect the damaged skin.
  • If there’s bleeding, it’s essential to stop it. With one hand, press with a gauze or a clean cloth that doesn’t leave fibers. When the bleeding stops, the wound should be covered.
  • Don’t wait longer than six hours to seek medical attention. This will avoid further complications, such as poor healing or infections.

Wounds in children

In the case of small wounds in children, it’s recommended to wash them with tap water (running water) to clean off the dirt. Using a saline solution or purified water if you have it – this is even better. You can also use mild soap. Dry the wound by dabbing instead of rubbing it. Use small dabs working from the inside out. Apply an antiseptic and cover the wound with sterile gauze and tape. The process needs to be repeated periodically. When the scab appears, it’s not necessary to continue this process.

If the wound is large and it’s bleeding excessively, raise the part of the body so that it’s higher than the heart. Don’t apply tourniquets to the wound. If there are clots in the gauze, leave them. If the gauze becomes soaked with blood, put another one on top, but don’t remove the first one.

At first, the wound may be inflamed and red, which shows the immune system is working to prevent infections. When the scab appears, the ideal thing is to apply a protective covering while new tissue forms, and then wait for it to dry.

Check out this article: How to Cure Wounds to Prevent Scars

5. The importance of going to the doctor

In the following instances, it’s essential to visit the doctor:

  • If the wound doesn’t stop bleeding or if it does intermittently it’s necessary to go. When there are foreign objects, and more importantly, if they are large, it’s necessary to visit the doctor. Specialists should also treat large, deep wounds.
  • A doctor should evaluate neck, joint, genital, or facial injuries. The first three are functional areas and the face is aesthetic care.
  • You should urgently go to a health care facility if the wound involves the detachment of a body part. Bring the separated part in a container with ice.
  • If the blood that squirts out is dark and pulses out, it is arterial blood. This is a very serious case and requires an immediate trip to the hospital.

These considerations are important when treating a wound. The knowledge and information to address them can make the difference between successful treatment and complications.