It is essential to know how to treat a wound; any break or damage to the skin; because accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. Knowing what to do can prevent infection and help the wound to heal faster. The first thing to remember is DO NOT PANIC! just follow the simple steps listed below.
How to treat a wound
- Find something to apply direct pressure to the wound to try and stop the bleeding. Any clean (preferably), an absorbent cloth will work such as: bandage gauze, a towel, a t-shirt, a sheet, etc. If the cloth soaks through DON’T remove it, add more cloth on top of it and continue applying pressure.
- If you are near a sink, wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning the wound then flush the wound out with regular tap water. Studies have shown this will not cause an increase of infection.
- DO NOT apply Hydrogen peroxide or iodine since this can damage the tissue.
- Reapply pressure and if bleeding does not stop, try to elevate it above your heart to slow the bleeding. If it is a leg wound, lay down and prop it up.
Call 911 if:
- The bleeding hasn’t stopped after 10 minutes of continual pressure
- It is an abdominal or chest wound.
- The blood spurts out of the wound.
You should SEE A DOCTOR IF:
- The wound is on the face
- It is caused by an animal or human bite
- It is deep, has jagged edges or is gaping.
- The person hasn’t had a tetanus shot in 5 years.
- The person develops a fever or there is redness, swelling, numbness, or a discharge from the wound.
Quick and calm treatment of any wound is essential to ensure healing and prevent infection. If you do have to call or go for help you will have started the person on the way to recovery by giving this vital first aid.
You make a good point when you mentioned the importance of finding something clean that you can use to apply pressure to stop your wound from bleeding. My uncle accidentally cut his leg on a sharp rock as we were hiking together, and I am not sure how to stop the bleeding. Perhaps if he were given the right wound care products, he would be able to make a quick recovery.