GUIDELINE ON BASIC WOUND CARE
ROSALIND I. DELA CRUZ, R.N.
Proper care of wounds can prevent infection and speed up the body’s healing process.
Tr eat m en t
Immediately after the injury, wash thoroughly with clean water and mild soap. Remove any visible dirt or debris from the wound. Apply gentle pressure to stop bleeding.
For burn wounds, run cool water over the area or apply a cool, wet cloth. If blisters form, do not pop or drain.
Apply a thin layer of bacitracin antibiotic ointment or white petroleum to the wound. Cover with a bandage.
Clean area twice daily with soap and water, and apply a new bandage and ointment after cleaning. There is no need to use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol for cleaning. Continue this care until wound is fully healed.
Deep or gaping wounds may need stitches or other wound care from a medical professional. Some bite injuries may also require special attention. Tetanus immunization
Tetanus is an uncommon but serious infection that can occur after a skin injury. It is recommended that all individuals receive a series of three tetanus vaccinations, usually given during infancy, and a booster shot every 10 years. Some puncture wounds or other dirty wounds may require a tetanus booster if it has been more than five years since the last tetanus shot.
Signs of infection and when to see a clinician
Initially, some mild redness directly around the wound is a normal part of healing, but seek medical care if there is any of the following:
• Redness spreading out or "streaking" from the wound
• Increased pain or swelling of the wound
• Difficulty moving the affected area
• Pus or odorous wound drainage
• Warmth around the wound site
• Fever higher than 38 degrees
• Any concerns about poor healing, large or gaping wounds, bite injuries, etc.
The author is ADA VI, DepEd Division Office of Angeles City