Basic Wound Care Steps.
Here's What You Should Do.
If you get any wound you should perform some basic wound care steps... But what are they?
On this page you will learn:
- What to do when you get a wound.
- When to seek medical aid.
- How you should treat it your wound.
- Why wound care is important.
- If NPWT Can Heal Your Wound Faster.
Click Each Section Below To See The Basic Wound Care Steps.
The first step to proper wound care is to evaluate the wound in order to know what you should do.
If you have a minor wound, such as a splinter, knee scrape, or small cut you can treat these wounds at home.
But, If your wound could be considered major, or has a higher chance of being infected, seek medical assistance for proper wound care.
Here Is When You Should Seek Medical Help For Your Wound.
- When your wound is caused by a significant trauma, and/or other injuries are present. These traumas/injuries may include a car collision, power tool accidents, and most head injuries.
- If your wound doesn't stop bleeding after applying consistent pressure, and elevation.
- When your wound may need sutures, staples, or adhesives to heal correctly.
- If your wound is caused by getting bit by an animal, such as a dog, snake or cat.
- When an allergic reaction takes place due to a bee sting, or other encounter.
- If your wound was sustained in a very dirty environment, which causes concern for infection.
- When your wound shows signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, and pus coming from the wound.
No Matter If You Need Medical Assistance or Not, Most Of The Time You Should Start First Aid.
Once you evaluate your wound you should usally start first aid procedures.
Making sure that your wound is clean, dressed, and that you're controlling the bleeding before you get to a medical facility is important because it save's time, and can sometimes save your life.
Therefore, unless it's an extreme circumstance, after evaluating your wound you should start the next step.
Go To Next Step
Many people think the best way to clean any open wound is to immediately pour peroxide onto it.
The myth stops here, because that is NOT the way you should clean your wound.
Solutions such as alcohol, and peroxide are often times to harsh for human tissue.
Because of this, if you use these type of solutions on your wound it may damage your wound more.
Instead, clean your wound with mild soap, and tap water.
Another way to clean your wound is with a saline solution from the store, or one that is made at home from salt, and water. (Make Saline Solution At Home)
To Clean Your Wound:
- Rinse your wound with cool water, and clean it with regular soap. You can also rinse your wound with a saline solution.
- While cleaning, you want to remove any debris that is in the wound. For this you can use tweezers, or other tools.
- If The Debris is deep in the wound, or dispersed you should seek medical assistance.
- Don't scrub your wounds in order to clean them.
- Deep wounds, and other serious wounds may hurt when you clean them.
- To dry your wound pat it softly with a clean gauze, or other cloth.
After Cleaning Your Wound, Control The Bleeding.
Once you have finished cleaning your wound, it's best to try and stop the bleeding.
The quicker you stop the bleeding, the better. Therefore start to control the bleeding after you clean your wound.
Go To Next Step
The next important step to caring for your wound is to control the bleeding.
It's very important to control the bleeding because when you control the bleeding you have less chance of anemia, and other conditions that weaken your immune system.
To Control The Bleeding.
- Cover your wound with a sterile, or dry cloth.
- Once covered, you want to apply pressure to the wound by pressing down over the cloth.
- Also, you should elevate the wound above your heart in order to control the bleeding better.
- If you decide to tie a cloth around your wound it's best not to tie the cloth to tight.
- When you tie a cloth around your wound the knot goes directly over the wound.
- Any cloth you tie onto a wound should be so that a finger can slip underneath it.
- If you cannot get the bleeding under control with pressure, and elevation after 20 minutes seek medical assistance immediately.
A cloth tied to tightly around your wound may cause more damage because it prevents blood flow to your wound.
In most cases, it is not a good idea to tourniquet any wound that does not have squirting blood.
Tourniquets should only be used for extreme wounds, and should be done by a first responder, or other medically trained personnel.
After You Have Controlled The Bleeding.
The next step for basic wound care is to properly dress, and take care of your wound.
Making sure that you properly care for your wound is very important because it helps prevent infection.
Go To Next Step
After you have successfully controlled the bleeding on your wound, it's time to ensure you take care of it.
Taking care of your wound correctly will allow your wound to heal right, and scar less.
To Properly Care After Your Wound.
- Put a pair of non-sterile gloves on, or make sure to wash your hands thoroughly in order to prevent bacterial infection to your wound.
- Rinse your wound with some tap water, and pat it dry, don't rub your wound or it could cause more damage.
- After check your wound for increased redness, swelling, pus, or a bad odor. (Especially After Change An Old Dressing)
- Pour saline solution into a clean bowl, and place gauze pads you will use into the bowl.
- Apply any antibacterial ointment, or other wound ointment onto your wound as directed.
- Place the wet gauze in/on the wound carefully. You want to fill your wound, and any space under the skin.
- If your wound is minor, you can use band aids, or other bandages instead of gauze.
- Next, cover the wet gauze with a large dry dressing pad, and secure it in place with medical tape or rolled gauze.
- After securing the gauze in place, throw any supplies you didn't use away, and wash your hands.
- To change an old dressing just remove the old dressing, and follow the steps above.
Maintain A Clean Environment To Heal Your Wound.
After you have dressed your wound it's very important to keep an eye on the wound.
Keeping your wound clean, moist, and sterile will give you the best chances of a fast recovery, with minimal scarring.
Go To Next Step
It's very important for you to take care of your wound so that it does not get worse or infected.
Many people think that it's best to keep your wound dry, but studies show that wounds actually heal better when in moist environments.
To Properly Maintain Your Wound.
- Put a pair of non-sterile gloves on, or make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before you change your dressings or bandages.
- Carefully remove your dressing/bandage in order to inspect your wound.
- When looking at your wound, you want to make sure that it's not getting excessive pus, swollen, infected, or has a foul odor.
- If you see your wound getting infected, very inflamed, or looks like it's getting worse you should seek medical assistance. You may need antibiotics in order to fight an infection.
- When your wound is healing like it should you just want to repeat the above steps for cleaning, and bandaging a wound in order to change your bandages.
- Your bandages/dressings should be changed when they become wet from wound drainage.
- Usually you will change the bandages/dressings 1-4 times each day.
- All wounds vary, therefore keep an eye on your wound because you may need to change your bandages more often.
A Moist Environment Can Heal Your Wound Faster.
More often than not you are lead to beileve that your wound is suppose to stay in a dry, and sterile environment to heal the best.
But, Did You Know?
" By treating wounds in a controlled wet environment, delivery of antimicrobials, analgesics, other bioactive molecules such as growth factors, as well as cells and micrografts, is allowed. The addition of growth factors or transplantation of cells yields the possibility of creating a regenerative wound microenvironment that favors healing, as opposed to excessive scar formation. " - PMC
Ice/Medicine For Pain, and Healing.
While your wound is bandaged, it's sometime a good idea to ice, and use medicine to heal the wound.
But before you start taking any old medicine, it's smart to know which ones will help your wound heal.
Go To Next Step
Using medicine to heal a wound is not always the best thing to do because some medication can hinder the healing process.
Therefore we don't suggest you take very many medications to heal your wound faster.
Medicines That Can Help Are
- Taking an acetaminophen, or Tylenol can help with pain. This should be taken as directed, because of side effects.
- Bacitracin, Antibiotic Ointment, or Neosporin may be applied to the wound after cleaning in order to help healing, and prevent infection. Use as directed.
- Eating healthy, and drinking water can help heal your wound faster by providing the proper nutrients your body needs to heal. (Top Foods For Healing)
Medications That Slow Wound Healing.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids interfere with the body's natural healing process.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can slow wound healing.
- Chemotherapeutic Drugs can hinder the healing process because they obstruct cellular metabolism, and rapid cell division, which is needed for your wound to heal quicker.
Ice To Reduce Swelling
Sometimes you get a wound that is paired with swelling at the wound site.
In order to reduce swelling you can ice your wound.
- When using ice, ensure that you only ice for 15-20 consecutive minutes. Keeping ice on a wound for longer can damage the wound more due to the chance of frostbite.
- Use ice that is in a plastic bag, or an ice pack, then place a cloth, or towel as a barrier between your wound, and the ice source.
- After taking the ice off of your wound, you should allow at-least 45 minutes before you ice again. Icing your wound for to much is harmful.
Go To Next Step
Perhaps the most important part of healing your wound is making sure that it is not getting infected.
Wounds that are getting infected, or worse usually need medical assistance in order to heal.
Seek Medical Assistance
- Your wound has excessive drainage.
- The wound is getting pus filled, or looking infected.
- A wound does not heal after an ample amount of time.
- When your wound is giving off a foul odor.
- If extreme pain is coming from your wound.
Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) For Faster Wound Healing.
Efficient. Smart. Medicine.
Many different wounds can be healed at home by simply taking care of them properly.
But what about those wounds that never heal?
It's been found that Negative Pressure Wound Therapy is a great basic wound care step for wounds that are harder to heal.
Wound VACs are great for these hard healing wounds because they lessen the chance of infection, while promoting blood flow to the wound.
Also, because wounds heal faster you will use less dressings, and fewer nurse hours...
Therefore SNF's, and LTACH's love using negative pressure wound therapy for wounds that don't heal like they should.