A wound is a break in the skin. Cuts, scrapes, and scratches are all wounds. You could wound yourself when cooking, cleaning, or gardening. Your child could wound themselves during a bad fall at home or while playing.
A wound can happen at any time, night or day, and it pays to know how to care for a wound. Proper wound care is important to prevent infection and other complications. In fact, it is an essential part of recovery.
Let’s talk about the 7 steps for caring for wounds.
Step #1 Wash Your Hands Clean
Preventing infection is critical in wound care, therefore make sure whoever is applying wound care washes their hands. Washing with soap and water and applying hand sanitizer afterward is sufficient.
Step #2 Stop the Bleeding
To stop bleeding, apply pressure to the wound. Do this using a clean cloth or bandage. You should also raise the wound area above heart level if possible. This can help you use gravity to slow blood flow to the wound area.
Step #3 Clean the Wound
Use running water to clean the wound. Do this for at least five minutes. You can use soap around the wound but not inside. If the wound is from a fall outside, there could be debris that can cause an infection. If big debris is embedded in the wound, it’s best to seek a medical professional for wound care. Be very gentle so as not to irritate the wound. The purpose of this step is to create an ideal environment for healing.
Alternatively, you can use a saline solution to clean the wound. Dip gauze in a saline solution and use that to clean the wound. Saline solution will not further damage tissues, unlike antiseptics. As a final step of cleaning, pat the area dry with a clean towel or wad of tissues.
Step #4 Apply Antibacterial Ointment
If the wound is minor, apply antibacterial ointment like Neosporin to prevent an infection.
Step #5 Protect the Wound
The next step is to protect the wound by covering it with a sterile dressing and secure it in place with a bandage, preferably with a non-adhesive pad. This protects the skin surrounding the wound and also prevents the wound from increasing in size and applies pressure to it for healing.
Step #6 Change the Dressing
The dressing should be changed at least once a day. When changing the dressing, make sure to wash your hands ahead of time, clean the wound carefully, and secure the sterile bandage in place. While changing the dressing, evaluate the healing process and see a doctor if the wound bleeds on contact, has a yellowish discharge, or appears dark red in color. These are signs of abnormal wound healing.
Step #7 Observe Symptoms
Be on the lookout for signs of infection. Severe pain, bad odor, thick and yellowish discharge, and a darkening of the skin around the wound are all signs of abnormal wound healing and should be evaluated by a doctor right away.
Wound Care in Rochester, New York
Trust the healthcare team at Cornerstone Urgent Care Center with the prompt evaluation and care of your wound. Wounds that are too painful, deep, and with larger debris embedded in them should be treated by a physician.
We are an urgent care clinic accepting walk-in patients. If you have questions or to let us know you are coming, call us today at (585) 207-0088. From Monday through Friday, we are open from 8 am to 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 7 pm. Cornerstone Urgent Care Center is located at 2968 Chili Avenue.