A wound is defined as an injury to living tissue caused by a cut, blow, or other impact, typically one in which the skin is cut or broken.
Wounds to the body can be a result of multiple things and can vary in depth, size, and healing time to name a few. No two wounds will be the exact same as there are multiple different categories including abrasions, rupture injuries, punctures, penetration wounds, and lacerations. Another varying aspect of wounds is the severity. A wound can require different treatment based on if it is superficial, meaning it is a minor cut that only affects the first two layers of skin (epidermis and dermis). Medical equipment that can be used to treat a superficial wound are things such as McKesson Island Adhesive Dressings, Curity Sterile Gauze and Sponges, and Wings Fluff and Polymer Underpad.
For more serious injuries such as lacerations and abrasions, this would require more intense medical attention such as stitches or staples which could then be treated throughout the healing phase with medical equipment such as EZE-Band LF Compression Bandage or Dermacea Non-Sterile Stretch Bandage Rolls.
Most serious wounds can be treated with sutures (stiches), surgical tape, or staples if you are able to seek medical attention within a timeframe that does not allow the wound to become dirty or too old. The general rule is that once the wound has been closed, a health practitioner will request that the patient return within 3 – 5 days to ensure that it is healing properly and not at risk.
There are many risks that come with not properly treating a wound. These risks are possible whether it is a superficial wound or more serious one. The reason that there is risk involved with both is because there is always the possibility of infection, which if not addressed immediately, can cause major problems later on. A good way to determine if an injury is at risk of infection, or already is infected, is to identify these five signs:
- Malaise – this is a general feeling of discomfort, uneasiness, or illness
- Fever – some symptoms of a fever are headaches, loss of appetite, and sweating
- Fluid Drainage – when the wound is producing a liquid discharge
- Continual or increased pain
- Redness and Swelling – if the wound area begins turning more red than usual and is swollen, this is a sign that the wound is fighting and infection and requires further medical treatment
Luckily, there are a long list of medical resources available to fight and prevent infections from occurring.
Home Remedy vs. Professional Medical Care
The majority of superficial wounds can be easily treated at home with a standard first aid kit that includes some basic medical equipment such as adhesive bandages, gauze, tape, and disinfectant. These products are available through Hy-Tape, Colastic, or Medi-Pak. For injuries that can be remedied at home, the typical healing time is between 2 – 3 weeks with proper care and attention.
On the other hand, more serious injuries to the skin can require immediate and frequent attention to ensure proper healing. Some ways to determine if a wound needs to be addressed by a medical professional are:
- If the wound was caused by substantial force
- Heavy, persistent bleeding that cannot be stopped
- If the wound is dirty, appears red and irritated, or cannot be easily cleaned
In both cases it is crucial that the wound is constantly monitored and checked for signs that it is healing as expected. Ensuring that bandages, gauze, and tape is regularly changed and the wound and wound area are cleaned is essential in the healing process. Failing to do so can result in longer healing times and further health complications that may affect more than just the initial wound site.