General information on wounds.
A wound is an injury that occurs immediately when the skin is cut, torn or punctured causing an open wound or when a blunt object exert pressure on the body causing a closed wound. Pathologists define a wound as a piercing injury which cause damage to the dermis of the skin. wounds maybe as a result of gun shots, surgical procedure, fall, an infection or from an underlying illness.
Cause and wound types.
- Abrasions. Occur when the skin rub against a rough material or surface. They are also known as scrapes. An example of an abrasion is a rope burn.
- Avulsions. Happens when a whole body part is pulled away by force. For example, loss of a tooth or an arm. Avulsions can be as a result by gun shots, animal bites or explosions.
- Contusions. Also known as bruises. Result from a trauma that cause injuries to internal body parts without breaking the skin. Blows to the head, chest or abdomen with a blunt object (a metal or a fist) cause contusions.
- Crush wounds. Crush wounds are got when a heavy object fall on a person causing tear, or splitting the skin or the internal body parts.
- Cuts. These are wounds caused by slicing the body with sharp objects. For example of cuts, are wounds from surgical operations.
- Lacerations. Also known as tears. They are separating wounds that produce torn edges. They occur from a large force against the body from an internal force like child bearing or an external force like a punch.
- Missile wounds. These are wounds caused by objects entering the body at a high speed, mostly a bullet. Also known as velocity wounds.
- Punctures. These are narrow, deep wounds caused by sharp things such as knives, broken bottles, nails and glass.
Sign and symptoms
Pain, bleeding and swelling are general symptoms of a wound. The amount of pain, swell and bleeding depends on the wounds location and the injury mechanism.
Specific symptoms include:
- Abrasions resemble lines of scratched skin with tiny blood spots.
- Avulsions are characterized by heavy and prompt bleeding with noticeable skin absence.
- A contusion appear as a wound below the skin. May bring forth symptoms such as weaknesses, pain and perspiration.
- A crush wound is deep, painful to muscles and bones may be evident.
- A cut portray little or large amounts of bleeding depending on the depth and length of the cut.
- A missile wound comes along with an exit wound and a lot of bleeding.
- A puncture injury is greater than its length hence little bleeding on the outside and a lot of bleeding internally causing staining.
Wound treatment should include the following:
The very first thing to do when a wound is acquired is to stop bleeding. Apply direct pressure using a clean cloth on the whole wounded area. The cloth absorbs blood without preventing clot formation. If the cloth soaks of blood, place another piece on it to avoid disruption clot formation. Elevate the bleeding part above the heart but only if it is not broken, this allows gravity to slow down the blood flow to the injured area. In case of excess bleeding, use tourniquet, but note that it cuts oxygen supply and cause the limb to die.
Dress the wound.
Once bleeding stops, clean and dress the wound to prevent germ infections. Use clean water to clean the wound, use sterilized tweezers to remove any particles from the wound and lastly dry the wound without disturbing the clot. Apply an antibiotic oil then cover it with a clean bandage.
Get medical help.
After the wound is no longer bleeding and well-dressed then rush the injured person to a doctor for further medication. If an injury seems way beyond your potential do not attempt anything but call emergency services. Puncture wounds need a tetanus shot to avoid more infections. Animal bites should be examined to determine possibility of rabies.