Lacerations, no matter how small, need proper wound care to prevent serious complications, such as tetanus and sepsis.
Below are the basic steps to proper wound care, the goal of which is to create a conducive environment for a quick healing process.
- Step 1: Apply firm pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop any bleeding. By applying pressure directly to the wound, you help slow down the flow of blood, enable platelets to adhere and aggregate at the area of injury, and allow clotting to start – which helps close and heal the wound. Additionally, applying pressure can also help reduce swelling and pain at the site of the injury.
- Step 2: Clean the wound. This helps prevent infection as well as removes debris and foreign objects that could impede healing or cause further damage.
Gently clean the wound with soap and water. You may also use a sterile saline solution. Apply antiseptic ointment.
- Step 3: Use bandages. Loosely cover the wound with sterile gauze or wrap and secure in place with medical tape. Bandages also help to prevent infection in lacerations by keeping the wound clean and protected. They also help prevent the wound from drying out and keep it moist, which can promote healing. Additionally, bandages can provide support, help reduce pain, and protect the wound from further injury.
- Step 4: Elevate: Raise the area above heart level, if possible, to help drain the excess fluid and reduce swelling.
- Step 5: Get tetanus shots. Tetanus is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium called Clostridium tetani when it enters your body through a wound. Your risk for tetanus is significantly higher if the laceration is on your feet and not cleaned right away.
Seek medical attention if your wound is bleeding profusely even after firm pressure is applied to it. Deep or wide lacerations are best left to the care of medical professionals, as they will likely require stitches or staples.
First-Rate Wound Care in Rochester, NY
At Cornerstone Urgent Care Center, your comfort, health, and mobility are important to us. In addition to providing comprehensive wound care, we care to teach our patients self-care strategies to help them avoid complications that could warrant hospitalizations.
To learn more about our urgent care services, call our clinic today at (585) 207-0088. If you have a minor injury or illness requiring prompt treatment, visit us today – no appointment is necessary. You can count on us to provide you with the high-quality care that you need when you need it!