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GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF WOUND CARE

A wound is a break in the continuity of skin tissue or mucous membranes. The type, extent and depth of the wound depends on factors such as the type, force and location of the injury.

 

Wounds may be caused by mechanical (cuts, stabs, bruises, gunshot wounds), thermal (burns, frostbites), chemical (chemical burns) or electrical factors (burns or tissue charring). When a wound occurs, it is usually accompanied by bleeding or hemorrhage, which may pose a threat to both health and life of the injured person.

The following few rules should be followed when directly dressing wounds :

  • Do not place cotton wool, lignin or tissues directly on the wound
  • Do not touch the wound directly with fingers or other non-sterile materials to avoid infecting the wound environment
  • Foreign bodies located within the wound should not be pulled out under any circumstances as rapid bleeding and/or hemorrhaging that is difficult to stop may occur - stabilize the foreign body present as much as possible eliminating the possibility of movement within the wound
  • To prevent the development of post-traumatic shock, the victim should be placed in the anti-shock position (flat on their back with legs lifted up)
  • Monitor the victim's vital signs (breathing, pulse) at all times while giving first aid
  • Ensure proper thermal comfort by protecting the victim from cooling or overheating
  • First of all, monitor the pulse below the place where the dressing was applied
  • If the dressing gets wet, add another layer of absorbent dressing without removing the previous layer and fasten with an appropriate secondary dressing, e.g. a dressing net, bandage or cohesion bandage.
  • After first aid treatment of the wound, you should go to a specialist clinic and be checked by a doctor.

Your own safety must be kept in mind at all times when providing premedical first aid and dressing wounds. Personal protective equipment must be used in order to be able to help effectively and at the same time not to put yourself at risk of losing health or even your life. The use of suitable gloves (e.g. latex gloves, vinyl gloves) and protective clothing (mask, breathing mask, goggles) is essential. Protective equipment protects the operator from potentially dangerous infectious materials, such as blood, tissue, body fluids and secretions. 

Last update: 3/25/2021