What Is Wound Care?
Infection, severe temperatures, and radiation burns are all risks that the skin defends the body against. Skin, however, is vulnerable to injury, particularly wounds caused by injuries. In some circumstances, skin wounds can heal on their own without the need for medical intervention.
However, if the incision is large or deep enough, the skin may become infected, impairing its ability to heal naturally. Therefore, skin wounds must be treated, regardless of size, depth, or type.
Scrapes or light abrasions may require cleaning and antiseptic, but larger wounds, such as punctures, lacerations, or penetrations that reach the muscles or internal organs, may necessitate surgery.
Wounds are prone to infection, particularly by Clostridium Tetani, the bacteria that causes tetanus. Tetanus shots and boosters can help prevent infection, which is why most medical facilities give tetanus immunizations to anybody who has been injured.
The vaccine is also available for children aged two months to six years old. Boosters are given to preteens who have already received the first immunization. The type of wound and the patient’s medical state will determine how it is treated.
Diabetic patients, for example, must have their wounds treated right away, regardless of their size. Due to their weakened immune system, even a little wound can quickly become infected. Chemical burns, for example, are treated differently than conventional burns.
Cause of Wounds
Almost anything can harm your skin. For example, scratching an itch with your fingernails can result in a wound. The following are the most prevalent types:
- Bites by insects — certain insects carry viruses and germs. For example, mosquitoes can transmit the deadly dengue virus, and ticks can carry a variety of germs that can cause life-threatening diseases.
- Bites from animals — many animals carry rabies, which is fatal to humans.
- Human bites – Human bites become infected in 100% of cases, so they must be treated as soon as possible.
- Injury – An injury can result in superficial or serious wounds requiring surgery.
- Burns are classed according to the depth of the burn. Only the outer layer of the skin is affected by first-degree burns, whereas the layer beneath is affected by second-degree burns. Third-degree burns, on the other hand, impact the skin’s deepest layer and some surrounding tissue. Hot and cold items, electricity, chemicals, radiation, and friction can produce burns.
- Sores – Applying pressure to the skin for an extended time might stop blood from flowing through the area. This can result in open sores that are readily infected.
Types of Open Wounds
There are four forms of open wounds, each with its classification based on the cause.
You get an abrasion when your skin rubs or scrapes against a rough or hard surface. Abrasions include things like road rash. Although there is usually little bleeding, the area must be cleaned to prevent infection.
Lacerations are deep cuts or tears in the skin. Lacerations are frequently caused by accidents involving blades, tools, and machinery. Deep lacerations can result in quick and significant bleeding.
A puncture is a small hole made by a long, sharp item like a nail or a needle. A gunshot can sometimes produce a puncture wound. Punctures may not bleed much, but they can cause internal organ damage if they are deep enough. Visit your doctor for a tetanus injection to avoid infection if you have even a little puncture.
An avulsion is tearing away the skin and the tissue beneath it, which can be partial or complete. Avulsions are most common in violent accidents, including car crashes, explosions, and gunfire. They bleed profusely and quickly.
Classification and Management of Wounds
Acute wounds are injuries to the skin that occur accidentally, such as abrasions, cuts, burns, or scalds. Maintain your composure in the event of an accident. Make a fast examination to determine the best course of action based on the location and severity of the wound.
To stop bleeding from a bleeding wound without a foreign body, apply direct pressure to the wound for 5-15 minutes. To avoid infection, clean and dress the wound appropriately. If bleeding persists or a foreign body is deeply embedded in the wound (do not attempt to remove it as this may aggravate the bleeding), seek medical attention right once.
If no anti-tetanus toxoid (ATT) injection has been given before, or if it was given more than a decade ago, anti-tetanus toxoid (ATT) injection should be administered for unclean wounds, especially if they are contaminated by mud or rust. A full course of ATT consists of three injections and protects for ten years.
Cooling is the most crucial factor in treating burns and scald wounds. The goal is to keep the heat from spreading deeper into the skin. First, rinse the wound for at least 10 minutes under cold running water. Then, apply a sterile, non-adhesive dressing to the wound. If the situation is critical, go to the hospital.
A chronic wound has not healed for more than four weeks, such as a pressure sore or a venous ulcer. To avoid infection and promote healing, the main tenet of chronic wound care is to keep the wound clean. In addition, it is critical to apply aseptic wound dressings regularly.
The dressing you use depends on the wound’s health, so it’s best to follow the nurse’s instructions. Other elements, such as a balanced diet for nutrition and sufficient exercise to enhance circulation for wound healing, are also vital in promoting recovery.
Prevention and Care of Pressure Sore
A bedsore, also known as a pressure sore, is a frequent ailment among the bedridden. Persistent pressure, friction, and moisture induce it. The sacrum, ankles, and other prominent bony parts of the body are prone to bed-sore. Patients should increase their exercise and avoid staying in the same position for lengthy periods to avoid bed sores.
Relatives can help the bedridden with passive exercise and changing positions regularly. During position changes, it is critical to avoid frictional skin harm and pay close attention to skin cleanliness and wound cleansing.
Apart from daily bathing and frequent dressing, soiled and wet dressings, napkins, clothing, and bedding must be changed as soon as possible. Maintaining healthy skin also necessitates enough nourishment.
Pain, swelling, and bleeding are the most typical wound symptoms. The pain receptors in the skin are primarily responsible for pain. The pain may not be as severe when the wound has penetrated all layers of skin, such as a third-degree burn.
Blisters can also form as a result of wounds. Blisters form when a little amount of liquid collects beneath the skin in a specific place. When a wound becomes infected, the symptoms that appear are those of infection. Fever, pus, warmth surrounding the affected area, and a foul odor are the most frequent symptoms of infection.
Wound Assessment, Evaluation, and Documentation
The goal is to avoid pressure sores and skin infections and keep track of the wound’s progress. High-risk residents (frail, immobile, incontinent, or bedridden) should have their skin checked frequently. In addition, the community Nursing Service can observe during bathing, changing diapers, turning positions, and caring for wounds. The conspicuous bony parts should be given special attention.
If the skin is red or a blister appears, turn the patient more frequently and provide proper wound care. The cause of the injury, medical history, wound location, wound condition (color, size, depth, secretion, and infection), pain level, and the patient’s nutritional status are all factors to consider while assessing a wound. Review, evaluation, and document review are advised weekly or every two weeks. If a wound infection is discovered, get medical attention as soon as possible.
Commonly Used Cleansing Fluid and Dressing
A typical washing fluid is a normal saline (0.9 percent NaCl). It does not irritate wound tissues and causes less pain when applied because it is similar to human body fluid. Antiseptics have the potential to aggravate the wound or trigger an allergic reaction. In most cases, non-infected wounds can be cleaned with normal saline alone, without antiseptics. The doctor’s directions must be followed when treating an infected wound. Dressings for general use include:
- Gauze can absorb secretions.
- Transparent film dressings are permeable to gas and water vapor but not microorganisms.
- Hydrocolloid dressings: aid in removing slough and dead tissue; absorb secretions without over-drying; are non-adhesive during removal, and reduce dressing frequency.
- Antimicrobial dressings: destroy bacteria and require a prescription from a doctor.
The procedure of Wound Cleansing
- Line up the plastic forceps after opening the sterile packaging.
- Fill the container with a sufficient amount of cleansing solution.
- Remove the old dressing with a pair of forceps (if there are only two plastic forceps, remove the old dressing with a gloved hand).
- If the old dressing is stuck to the wound tightly, soak the inner dressing in saline solution before removing it.
- Remove the used forceps or glove and throw it away.
- For cleansing and dressing, use two more clean forceps.
- Dip the swab into the solution and remove any excess with forceps or by pressing it against the container’s edge. Next, wipe the wound from the inside outwards, simply using the swab; repeat this until the wound is clean.
- Gently pat the wound dry with gauze before applying a suitable dressing.
- Surgical tape or bandages can be used to keep the dressing in place.
- Never contact the wound or sterile gauze with your hands to avoid contamination.
Types of Treatment of Wound
The wound’s condition will determine the course of treatment. The doctor will determine the best course of action. These can include the following:
- Cleaning the wound, inspecting for foreign bodies, and closing the wound with sutures, staples, or surgical glue is all part of primary closure.
- Cleaning the wound and allowing it to heal on its own is the secondary goal of this procedure.
- Combination of primary closure and secondary aim – The doctor may leave the incision to heal for a few days in some circumstances. Then, if there is no evidence of infection, the wound can be closed with primary closure procedures.
If the wound becomes infected, the doctor prescribes medicines to prevent it from spreading. Even if the wound is not infected, antibiotics may be recommended if it has been polluted.
If the wound is caused by a burn, the type of burn will determine how the wound is treated. The majority of burns may be treated using basic first-aid treatments. Chemical and electrical burns, on the other hand, necessitate specific care.
The Importance of Wound Care in Recovery
In addition to preventing infection and other consequences, proper wound care speeds up the healing process and reduces scarring.
The danger of infection and other consequences is considerably reduced by paying constant care to the wound dressings and bandages. Changing the dressings, recording the wound’s progress, and making observations of bleeding, temperature, discharge, and smell can help a health practitioner make medically essential decisions. In general, wounds should be treated once a day with a wound disinfectant, clean water, or saline, and clean dressings should be applied.
It is a harmful notion that wounds heal faster if they are kept exposed. This is just not true. Keeping the wound covered during the healing process speeds up the process. Furthermore, properly maintained bandaging offers extra infection protection.
Keeping the wound soft during the healing phase helps reduce scarring while preventing the formation of hard scabs. In addition, your doctor indicates antibiotic ointments and other treatment choices can help keep the skin around the wound smooth and malleable during the early stages of recovery.
It’s critical to respond quickly whether you have a little or more serious open wound. Although some open wounds can be treated at home, this is not always possible. If you have a serious cut or are bleeding profusely, seek medical help. This ensures you get the best therapy possible and lowers your risk of problems and infection.
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