Wound Care (cont.)
Wound Self-Care at Home
- Most wounds may be cared for at home. Superficial abrasions and
lacerations can be cleaned, an antibacterial ointment applied, and then covered
with a band-aid or light bandage.
- Bleeding can often be controlled with direct pressure to the wound, and if possible,
elevating the bleeding site above the level of the heart. This allows gravity to
help decrease blood flow to the injury. Most bleeding will stop within 10
minutes, at which point, a dressing can be placed over the wound.
- If bleeding is not an problem, the wound can be cleaned using tap water to wash
out any debris to decrease the risk of infection. River and lake water can
contain many types of bacteria that can cause significant infection. It is not
recommended to clean wounds with contaminated water.
- Deeper wounds are painful and scrubbing is not necessarily advised.
- If a wound needs medical care, there are steps that can be taken at home
to begin treatment. Unless there is a significant underlying injury, there is ample time to seek
medical care and it is appropriate to take a few minutes to clean and dress the
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