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Puncture Wound (cont.)

Puncture Wound Diagnosis

The evaluation is based on a thorough history of what caused the puncture wound and the circumstances surrounding the event. The doctor will ask about the time from injury to evaluation, type of object that caused the injury, an estimate of the depth of penetration, inspection of the object if available, and whether or not footwear was worn if the injury is to the foot.

  • Patients will be asked about the date of their last tetanus shot.
  • X-rays may be taken as needed, to look for any possibility of an object left behind in the puncture wound or to assess any damage to the underlying bone.
  • Ultrasound may also be performed.

Puncture Wound Home Remedies

  • First, check to see that nothing is left in the wound.
  • Check to see if the object that caused the wound is intact. If a piece is missing, it may be stuck in the wound.
  • Allow the wound to bleed freely, but if bleeding is heavy or squirting out, apply pressure until it stops.
  • If bleeding won't stop, the patient will need emergency care.
  • The basics of wound care
    • Stop the bleeding: Minor puncture wounds and cuts usually stop bleeding without any treatment. If not, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. If the blood spurts or continues after several minutes of pressure, emergency care is necessary.
    • Clean the wound: The person that cleans the wound needs first to wash their hands; ideally, the person should wear sterile gloves. People may spread bacteria into the wound if their hands are not clean. Cleanse the wound; wash with water. People can use a mild soap such as Ivory if the wound is very dirty. If dirt or debris remains in the wound, clean a pair of tweezers with alcohol and remove the dirt. If a person cannot get the dirt or debris out, the patient's doctor should be notified or they should go to an urgent care or emergency center.
    • Protect the wound: An antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or Polysporin can be used. Apply a thin layer over the wound. This will help coat and protect the wound. Large amounts of ointment are not helpful because they can attract bacteria. Apply the ointment with a clean swab or gauze. Do not apply directly from the tube in order to avoid contamination of the tube. Ointments can be applied up to 3 times a day, but individuals should always clean the wound before applying ointment.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/6/2016
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