WOUNDS- First Aid
A wound is a type of injury to living tissue that generally involves a cut or break in the skin. Throughout life, you may face several types of injuries; involving a simple paper cut to a severe chemical burn, but every accident should be taken care of in the proper way. On this site we will discuss a few major categories of accidents that include soft tissue wounds, like the typical bruises, cuts and scrapes of everyday life, along with the not-so-typical, more life threatening accidents like puncture wounds, spurting cuts and amputations; burns, from mild sunburn to third-degree; poisoning; choking; and, of course, “natural” encounters such as bee stings, poison ivy, and the dangers of anaphylactic shock.
Types of Wounds
- Bruise Bleeding under the skin results in discoloration and swelling. The area appears red but may also turn into a “black and blue mark.”
- Cut It is a split in the skin caused by a sharp object, such as a knife, or sometimes even a blunt object. A cut can appear either a jagged or smooth edge.
- Puncture It is caused when the skin is pierced by a sharp object. The examples include gunshot wounds, impaled objects, and an object that penetrates a part of the body.
- Scrape It is very common, and occurs when skin is rubbed or scraped away.
|Avulsion||A section of skin is torn partially, leaving a portion of skin as a “flap.” In case of a total avulsion, a body part becomes completely torn off.|
Puncture Wounds- Features:
- Injuries caused by sharp object
- Wounds carry dirt and germs deep into the tissues
- Risk of infection is high
- Most wounds are minor and may be treated at home
- Some punctures are made by a health professional for disease treatment
- Even in case of closed wounds, puncture wounds demand treatment
Causes Puncture wound can be caused by –
- Objects like ice picks, bullets
- Animals, especially pets
The symptoms of puncture wounds include:
There is a chance of infection in case the wounds get contaminated with dirt and bacteria. Although any wound can become infected, infection is particularly possible in deep scrapes, which crush dirt into the skin, and in puncture wounds, which causes contamination deep under the skin. Also, wounds containing foreign bodies almost always become infected. The longer a wound remains in contaminated condition, the greater is the risk of infection.
Following first aid:
Stop the bleeding: Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding automatically. If they don’t seem to stop, apply gentle pressure at the site of the wound with a clean cloth or bandage. If bleeding persists and the blood spurts or continues to flow after several minutes of pressure seek immediate medical assistance.
Clean the wound: Wash the wound properly with clear water. Use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove small, surface particles. If debris still remains in the wound, consult your doctor. Thorough washing with soap and clean cloth decreases the risk of tetanus.
Apply an antibiotic: After cleaning the wound, apply a thin coating of an antibiotic cream or ointment for example, Neosporin or Polysporin in order to keep the surface moist. Though these products don’t play role in healing process, they can eliminate the chances of infection and allow your body to seal the wound more efficiently. Particular ingredients in some ointments can result in a mild rash in some people. Stop using the ointment if such condition occurs.
Cover the wound: Exposure to air accelerates healing process, but on the other hand bandages keep the wound clean and prevent infection from harmful bacteria.
Change the dressing daily whenever it becomes wet or dirty. If you’re allergic to the adhesive used in most bandages, use adhesive-free dressings or sterile gauze and hypoallergenic paper tape, which don’t cause allergic reactions. These materials are generally found at pharmacies.
Caring for a Major Open Wound
- Cover the wound with a clean dressing, press against it firmly with your hand
- Raise the wound above the level of the heart
- Cover the clean dressing with a roll bandage (like an Ace) to keep the dressings intact in place.
- If bleeding still does not stop, apply additional dressings over the roll bandage.
- Squeeze a pressure point, the artery against the bone in the bottom upper arm, or where the leg bends at the hip.
When part of the body has been torn off:
- Find the part
- Wrap it in a clean dressing and place in a plastic bag
- Put the bag on ice, but don’t freeze
- Take the part to the hospital
When an object is impaled in a wound:
Do not try to remove the object as you could reveal an open artery which would then be very difficult to deal with or almost impossible.
Bind up the wound with many dressings around the object to bring it to a halt and support it in its position in the wound.
- A little splinter in the skin must be removed with the help of tweezers.
- In case of a splinter in the eye, ask for emergency help and do not touch it.
The victim needs to sit with his or her head slanted a little bit forward at the time of pinching his or her nostrils together.
You may also place an ice pack on the bridge of the nose.
Injury to the mouth:
If the injury does not involve the head, neck or spine, the victim is instructed to sit with the head slightly tilted forward. If the victim finds it difficult to reach this position, place the victim on his or her side so that blood drains from the mouth.
If the injury has involved the lip, apply a clean rolled dressing between the lip and gum. Applying cold can also be helpful.
If a tooth is knocked out:
- Insert a small roll of sterile gauze in the gap created by the tooth that was knocked out.
- Pick up the tooth. But be careful that it should not be plucked by the root, but by the crown, i.e. the part that becomes visible when you smile in the mirror. See if it is possible for you to place the tooth back to the socket where it actually belongs to.
- If you can’t put the tooth back in; keep the tooth in a container immersed in fresh milk. If this also cannot be done, you may use water instead.
Consult a Doctor In case of:
- Human/animal bite
- High temperature
- Worsening Pain
- Bad odor
How to Treat a Gunshot Wound
Gunshot wounds are defined as unpredictable puncture wounds causing major tissue injury. 3 factors contribute to determine the severity of a gunshot wound. These include:
- Location of the injury
- Size of the projectile
- Speed of the projectile
Altering the speed of the bullet makes the most difference to the severity of damage done by the round. Principally, bigger guns result in bigger holes.
The following tips will be useful to treat a gunshot wound.
Time required: 10 minutes from injury to ambulance transport
The process is described below:
Stay Safe: If you are not the victim yourself, follow universal precautions and put on personal protective equipment if accessible. Any situation involving a gun involves real risks; moreover rescuers can’t help a victim if they get injured.
Surviving a gunshot wound depends significantly on how fast a victim is sent to a hospital. A gunshot wound victim should be on the way to a hospital in an ambulance within 10 minutes of being shot.
Do not shift the victim unless his or her safety is in danger.
First implement basic first aid. If the victim is unconscious but breathing, keep the airway open and clear. But in case the victim is not breathing, begin CPR.
Control any type of bleeding.
Close gunshot wounds to the chest with some type of plastic in order to keep air from being sucked into the wound. This also prevents the lung from being collapsed. If the victim experiences deteriorating shortness of breath, remove the seal.
Let conscious victims sit or lie in a most comfortable position. Unconscious victims, on the other hand should be positioned in the recovery position.
Do not try to raise legs of the victim to treat for shock if the gunshot wound is above the waist (unless the gunshot wound is in the arm). Gunshots to the abdomen and chest will bleed more speedily once the legs are elevated and also make it harder for the victim to take breathe.
Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink, not even water.
Severe cuts and burns can cause your body to experience physiological shock. Fluid loss compels the body to lessen blood flow to the extremities in order to give protection to essential organ systems. Actually, your body starts shutting down and if it is left untreated it can even cause your death.
Symptoms of shock
- Altered consciousness (dizziness, feeling faint, nausea)
- Pale, clammy, moist skin
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Treating shock
- Inform the doctor if the shock is very critical otherwise it may be fatal.
- Have the victim lie down
- Check external bleeding
- Place victim in a comfortable position in order to reduce body stress
- Try to maintain body temperature if the victim feels cold. You may use a blanket.
- Give support to the victim
- Elevate victim’s legs about 12 inches if the victim’s head, neck, or back injuries or broken bones are not suspected
- Don’t raise victim’s head
- Provide victim with no food or drink, even though it is possible for the victim to feel thirsty