Cuts, Abrasions and Deep Bruises: Emergency Room Tips
Wounds comprise injuries that remove or break the skin. They can be cuts, abrasions, or bruises. Some grazes, deeps bruises, and scrapes are treatable at home. However, you might need to visit an ER such as FrontLine ER for others. In general, any breakage of the skin needs tending within six hours of the injury.
However, if it is large enough, you need to get to the ER as fast as you can. Besides that, if the skin breakage is on the face or scalp, it should be tended to within 24 hours. Here are tips on how to deal with broken skin.
- Clean It
First, you will need to wash your hands using water and soap. You should then wash-down the site of the skin breakage. Ensure that you use cold water and get rid of all the debris. To do this, hold the affected area under some running water or pour clean water over it. After that, use some soap and water to clean the wound.
There is no need to use a powerful cleaning solution such as iodine, hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol for treating minor scrapes and cuts as they will only irritate the wound. Cool, clean water is enough for a relatively small skin breakage.
- Stop The Bleeding
A small amount of bleeding might be useful for helping to clean out debris from the wound. In most cases, a minor cut or abrasion will soon stop bleeding on its own. A cut to the hand or head might experience much bloodloss since those places have additional blood vessels.
To stop the bleeding, you should apply firm and direct pressure using gauze or a clean cloth. Continue to hold the weight for about an hour. Do not raise the bandage to check if bleeding has stopped. If the blood is seeping through the dressing, just put on more bandage and increase the pressure.
If the cut is on the arm, slow down the bleeding by raising the arm above the head. However, if the wound starts to spurt blood and does not stop bleeding, you need to get to FrontLine ER. We have specialists who are trained just for that.
When To Visit FrontLine ER
Most minor skin breaks do not need a visit to the ER. However, we would ask you to come to FrontLine ER if:
- The wound is on the face
- The edges of the skin breakage are jagged or gape open. If the injury is more than a quarter inch, it will be a good idea to come to the ER. Besides that, if you can see fat and muscle, this is a good sign that you will most likely need stitches.
- You are unable to get all the debris and dirt out, or the wound has an infliction by something rusty and dirty.
- You have a cut or puncture wound, and you have not received your tetanus shot in the last five years.
- A wound caused by a human bite or an animal bite.
- The area of the injury has lost sensation.
- Cover the wound
Once you have the bleeding under control, you will now need to cover it up using a sterile bandage or a gauze pad. You will then have to secure it in place using tape.
If the cut is tiny and is in an area where clothes will not rub, or dirt will not get it, you can leave it uncovered. However, most wounds need to be covered to avoid reopening the wound or causing infection.
Change the Dressing Daily
If you notice that your dressing is continuously soiled, you need to change it daily. If possible, you can even change more than once a day. An antibiotic ointment might help to reduce the chances of an infection. Before you apply a new bandage onto the wound, use a small layer of the antibiotic ointment; that will help to keep the scrape or cut clean and moist and help to avoid scarring.
Beware Of Infection
If the wound is not healing, you should watch out for these signs. If you see them, it is time for you to visit the FrontLine ER for some much-needed emergency care:
- Warmth, redness, and swelling
- Increased pain
- Pus from the cut
- A Fever
- Red streaks develop around the wound
The Wound Starts Healing
Small scrapes and cuts will form a scab and heal in just a few days. The crust is there to keep germs and dirt out of the wound as new skin grows. Once there is a scab, you might not need to use a bandage any more.
Although a scab will itch, it is best not to pick it or scratch it. After a few days, the crust will fall off with no help from you; signifying that new skin has formed underneath and there’s complete healing of the wound.