Individuals living in a normal day to day life will at some point incur an injury in some form or another. Whether you are a home buddy that prefers to stay in all day or an adrenaline junkie who loves to try and explore new things over the weekend. The probability of incurring different types of wounds will change but at some point, whether you are at home or outside, you will hurt yourself.
The most likely and least harmful wound a person will get is a slight cut from a paper to a kitchen knife. Our human body is equipped with a great ability to be able to heal quite quickly on its own. Deep and large wounds may take a longer time to heal and sometimes require medical stitches.
However, large deep wounds that turned into chronic ones can be dangerous. They either close very slowly, they keep opening up, or they do not heal at all.
Deep chronic wounds remain a significant problem in Australia. More than 400,000 cases of people acquiring wounds have been recorded at any given time of the year.
Aside from the pain and suffering, it brings to the Australian community, it also costs the Australian healthcare system a stunning 2.85 billion per annum, or approximately 2% of the overall national health care expenditure in the country.
Having the basic knowledge of first aid and having the right supplies in your home can prevent a wound from turning into a serious one. First aid intervention decreases the rates of infection, hospitalisation, amputation, and recurrence. It increases the survival rate of the victim and improves the outcome for people who suffers from it.
Before we proceed with wound care and how to properly manage deep wounds First Aid Pro, a provider of first aid course in Syndey also listed the different types of wounds.
There are different types of wounds a person could have, and each of them has its very own of being treated. They can be categorized as abrasion, avulsion, incision, laceration, and puncture.
- ABRASION – A type of wound caused by a scraping force or friction. This is very common and tends not to be very deeps but may contain many foreign bodies such as dirt.
- AVULSION – This type of wound is caused by a tearing force in which the tissue is torn away from its normal position, exposing the underlying structure under the skin. This type of wound is apparent in car accident wounds.
- INCISION – A clean, straight cut caused by a sharp-edged object like a knife, a razor, or a piece of glass. This tends to bleed heavily as multiple vessels may be cut directly across.
- LACERATION – This type of wound has jagged edges and is not as clean as the incision type. There not much blood involved in a laceration, but it often causes more damage to the surrounding tissues.
- PUNCTURE – A deep wound caused by a sharp, stabbing object like a nail or a stick. It passes through the skin, impaling and the gravity of a puncture wound stretches from minor to life-threatening, depending on what object has been stabbed to the body.
Aside from wound types, it is also helpful to understand the stages of the body’s natural healing process, especially when it comes to wounds.
Stages of Wound Healing
Wounds are classified into several categories, depending on the cause and resulting injury.
- Hemostasis phase: The blood begins to clot, and a scab begins to form.
- Inflammatory phase: Damaged cells, pathogens, and bacteria will be removed from the wound area as the white blood cells help to ward off infection and begin to repair the damaged tissues and blood vessels.
- Proliferative phase: The red blood cells in the body will start creating collagen to form a base for new tissue to grow in the wound.
- Maturation phase: A new skin will form over the tissue, and as the edges pull inward, so is the wound.
Now that we have established the different types of wounds and stages of wound healing, the part that we will tackle next is the most important – Wound Care.
The Right Treatment for Your Wound
Once the wound injury happened, the best action is to react quickly and apply wound care. Immediate and appropriate first aid to the wound can speed up the healing process and highly reduce the risk of infection.
Do the following steps for efficient and effective wound care.
Stop the bleeding.
The first thing to do in wound care is to apply pressure to the wound area to stop the bleeding. Use a clean cloth or bandage and keep that part of your body elevated above the heart, if possible.
Clean the wound.
Once the bleeding has stopped, rinse the area with clean, lukewarm water to cleanse and remove any fragments of dirt, gravel, etc.
Cover the wound.
Once the wound is clean, apply any available antibiotic ointments and dress it with a sterile and non-stick bandage. We recommend non-stick to prevent further trauma on dressing removal.
Change the dressing.
If the wound is draining quite a bit, it is important to replace the dressing now and then.
Get stitches for deep wounds.
If the wound is deep and/or it exposes fat or muscle tissue, you will likely need sutures.
Watch for any signs of infection.
Keep an eye for any signs that indicate wound infection. Signs of infection usually include:
- Extreme redness
- Puss or drainage
- Excessive pain
For any signs of infection, call your doctor to decide on the best actions to take.
Contact your GP or a nurse if the bleeding won’t stop and elevation does not work, the wound seems large or deep, and if there has dirt, glass, a thorn, or other foreign body in the wound.
How to Treat a Wound at Home
Most wounds can be managed at home; however, it is recommended to always seek medical attention if the wound seems to be large and deep. Assess whether the wound is benign that requires simple first aid or a wound that requires antibiotics, sutures, or tissue adhesives.
In treating wounds, it is important to remember that some wounds may hurt than others but can potentially be much more serious and life-threatening if left untreated.