GUIDE­LINE ON BA­SIC WOUND CARE

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

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.

--oOo—

The au­thor is ADA VI, DepEd Divi­sion Of­fice of An­ge­les City

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