Tips for treating a puncture wound
A puncture wound is a type of wound resulting from an object piercing through the skin, thereby creating a small hole. Depending on the cause of the wound, they can be either deep or just on the surface, and risk of being infected. A puncture wound does not normally result in excessive bleeding as they close up pretty quickly without intervention.
Causes of Puncture wounds
Some of the common causes of puncture wounds include pins, splinters, glass, and nails. A puncture wound could also be caused by sharp objects such as knives and scissors. Any sharp object also has the potential of causing a puncture wound.
Symptoms of a puncture wound
There is normally mild bleeding and pain at the site of a puncture wound. This wound is quite obvious if the person is visibly cut, but tiny pieces of glass can also result in puncture wounds that would not be noticeable to the person at first glance.
There may be redness, pus, watery discharge, or swelling from a puncture wound due to an infection that went unnoticed or was not properly treated.
Since puncture wounds are small or large and deep or shallow, their treatment depends on how severe the puncture wound is, the size, and the object's speed that caused the wound. The treatment would also differ based on whether the object that caused the puncture is still in the person's body or was removed. There might be the necessity of treatment to prevent some of the wounds from being infected. For example, a puncture wound resulting from stepping on a nail can get infected because the object that's causing the wound might have spores Clostridium spp or bacteria that cause tetanus into the tissue and skin.
If someone suffers a puncture wound and you want to help take care of it, the treatment tips to follow include
Ensure that your hands are clean. So wash your hands as this helps to prevent infections.
Attempt to stop the bleeding by using a bandage or a clean cloth to apply pressure to the wound.
Rinse with water for about five to ten minutes to clean the wound. Ensure that the skin around the wound is kept clean with a washcloth and soap, and if there is debris or dirt in the wound, you can also scrub it off gently with a washcloth. If you can't get rid of all the debris or dirt, see a doctor.
Apply antibiotic cream to the wound. When using the antibiotic cream, apply small amounts. When you change the dressing for the first two days, rewash the injured area and reapply the antibiotic. Note that some ointments contain some ingredients that can result in a mild rash in some cases. If this occurs, then stop using the ointment and seek medical care.
Use bandages to cover the wound because they help to keep the wound clean. Make sure that you change the dressing at least once a day or whenever the bandages become dirty or wet.
Watch the wound for any signs of infection, such as increased pain, swelling, redness, or drainage.
Seek medical help immediately if the wound continues bleeding after applying pressure for a few minutes. Also, seek help if the wound is due to a human or animal bite, is deep, dirty, or the cause was a metal object.
Puncture wounds that are a result of animal bites can cause rabies. Although rabies is a preventable disease, it is almost fatal all the time if you wait for symptoms to show. Human bits also carry a very high risk of infection, even more than bites like dog bites. Therefore always consult a doctor as already stated in any of these situations. If the injured person has not also had a tetanus shot within the past five years and the wound is dirty or deep, the doctor might recommend a booster. The wounded individual should take the booster shot with 48 hours of sustaining the injury.
Puncture wounds are to be closely monitored because they can lead to other more serious situations if not taken good care of. When you want to take care of a puncture victim, ensure to take all the precautionary steps necessary as you would not do any good to the person if you worsen their condition.