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What are the treatments for open wounds?

2012-03-13   Views:5

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An open wound refers to an external injury, such as to the mucous membrane or skin, which results in the breaking or opening of tissue. Open wounds typically form as a result of scrapes, cuts, abrasions and punctures, and more often than not are acco

What are the treatments for open wounds?

An open wound refers to an external injury, such as to the mucous membrane or skin, which results in the breaking or opening of tissue. Open wounds typically form as a result of scrapes, cuts, abrasions and punctures, and more often than not are accompanied by bleeding. To minimise the risk of extensive bleeding, infection and intensive scarring, there are several treatments that can help. These include applying pressure, cleaning, dressing, stitching and medication.

Applying Pressure

For most small wounds, like paper cuts, you can forgo the step of applying pressure because bleeding will usually cease within minutes or even seconds. However, with larger open wounds that bleed profusely, you will want to apply pressure in order to prevent blood loss. Your best option may be to wrap the wound in a rag, towel or T-shirt, and twist or tie the ends so it is taught. Of course, this is a just a temporary treatment until medical attention is sought.

Cleaning

You should let smaller open wounds bleed freely for a few seconds. This will help clean them naturally, according to healthscout.com, a health care website. You can then wash the wound gently with a mixture of soap and water. Rubbing alcohol--either isopropyl or ethyl--and hydrogen peroxide solutions are also commonly used for this purpose. If your wound is an abrasion, and is littered with bits of dirt or other debris, you will want to scrub the area clean to prevent permanent discolouration of the skin.

Dressing

Once your open wound is sufficiently clean, you may want to apply a sterile dressing, such as a bandage or gauze and tape. At this point you may also want to squirt a bit of disinfectant gel, like Neosporin, on to the affected area. However, according to healthscout.com, small cuts may heal faster if left exposed to the open air.

Stitches

When open wounds are particularly large, or located in vital or high-stress areas such as near the eyes or joints, you will likely need to get stitches or another type of sutures, such as staples. Any cut that is over half an inch long, or any wound in general that is deep enough so that you can see down to the underlying fat layers will generally require stitching, according to emedicinehealth.com, a website that provides consumer health information written by physicians. However, keep in mind that most doctors will not stitch up wounds that are more than 12 hours old because there is an increased risk of infection.

Drugs

One of the biggest concerns with treating open wounds is preventing infection. For this reason, individuals with open wounds, particularly those caused by animal bites or unsanitary objects, may be prescribed drugs, such as penicillin and other antibiotics. For particularly painful or tender wounds, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen.

What are the treatments for open wounds?

What are the treatments for open wounds?

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