First aid and wound care

FIRST AID AND WOUND CARE 6

Firstaid and wound care

Abstract

Propercare for a wound from the point it starts is very important infacilitation of fast and proper healing. Different wound careprocedures are applied on different types and natures of woundsdepending on the causative agent and the size of the wound. Somewarrant medical attention while to others a proper home care handlingis enough. This however calls for application of proper first aidprocedure in either case. The three most important first aid steps inwound care are proper cleaning, treatment and protection of thewound. It is the purpose of this paper to analyze first aid and woundcare.

Wounds

Awound is an injury to a body tissue resulting from cuts or otherimpact on the tissues leaving the skin with a cut or an opening. Cutsor body tissue tears can be caused by bites, or any other mechanismsuch as an accident. Small wounds especially those not resulting fromanimal bites and are kept clean usually heal fast without majorproblems. Other wounds however, can cause serious health threats tothe patient through extensive blood loss and infection. In othercases, deep body structures such as the tendons, tissues or bloodvessels can be seriously injured. In other cases, a foreign materialcan be left inside the body of the patient. These factors couldresult in a possible infection. Shallow cuts in the body resultingfrom small cuts especially from accidents in the kitchen rarely bleedand in cases where they do, the bleeding stops on its own (Pearn,1994). It is however important to note that the bleeding could beexcessive if the cut affects a blood vessel.

Whena wound becomes exposed and contaminated with dirt and bacteria, aninfection could be inevitable. It is also important to understandthat any wound can become infected despite its nature. An infectionis however more likely to occur in deep wounds resulting from a deepcut, in cases where dirt is inclined inside the wound and is notreachable during cleaning, or from a wound resulting from animal,insect or human bite which could contaminate the skin (Farion et al,2002). A wound that remains contaminated for a long time is likely toresult in a bad infection. It is therefore important to ensure thatproper wound care is taken to prevent the wound from gettingcontaminated.

Awound is in likely to be painful at first with the pain lessening asthe days go by. A wound affecting the tendons or the nerves mayrender the body part immovable because of the pain. Other woundsaffecting the nerves can go to the extent of causing weakness,numbness, paralysis, or even loss of sensation (Cals &amp Bont,2012). The part of the body near the wound remains painful especiallywhen touched in cases where a foreign material remains embeddedinside the wound. In a situation where wound pain worsens as the daysgo signals an infection. If proper precautions and treatment is nottaken in time, the wound may swell and redden with pus oozing out.Serious cases also cause fever.

Woundcare and first aid

Theassistance given to a person who has suffered an injury or suddenillness is what is known as first aid (Pearn, 1994). The main aim offirst aid service is to preserve live while preventing worsening ofthe injury and in turn promote quick recovery. In wound care, firstaid services are of great importance. The first step is to help stopthe wound from bleeding. In most cases, a wound will result inbleeding for some time. It is important to understand that bleedinghelps clean the wound and only unending bleeding should be a causefor concern. Stopping a wound from bleeding can be easily done bycompressing the bleeding area firmly with a finger or hand dependingon the size of the wound. In cases where it is possible to elevatethe area above the heart level, it is always important to do sobecause it helps in slowing down and stopping the bleeding (Pearn,1994).

Oncebleeding has stopped, it is important to wash the wound thoroughly tohelp stop an infection. Dirt and particles should be removed from thewound. Washing the wound with mild soap and clean water helps removethe invisible particles. The use of harsh detergents in the beliefthat it will kill germs is not recommended. This is because it mightresult in tissue damage which can impair and slow the healingprocess. A deep scrape may warrant scrubbing. After cleaning, smallwounds can be covered by tapes available in shops or chemists whiledeep wounds may requires stiches. Large cuts can also be bandagedafter application of antibiotic. When cleaning the wound, one shouldwas their hands thoroughly and use protective gloves where they arecleaning another person’s wound. After applying the antibiotics,the first aid giver should be on the lookout for the following signswhich warrant medical attention by a qualified practitioner: pus,tenderness, and swollen glands, swelling around the wound, and/orredness or red streaks emanating from the wound (Cals &amp Bont,2012).

Conclusion

Theskin acts as a barrier to the outside world by protecting the bodyagainst infections or extremes of the weather. A cut on the skinprevents it from performing the above functions. This cut is ideallywhat is known as a wound. It is therefore important to have properwound care and first aid. Depending on the nature of the wound, onecan identify the best way to treat it. Small wounds can be easilytreated and managed at home through local first aid services such ascleaning and dressing. Large wounds and especially those resultingfrom animal or human bite require medical attention which will takecare of any infections passed on to the body.

References

Cals,J &amp Bont, D. (2012). “Minor incised traumatic laceration”.TheBritish Medical Journal. Vol.1, pp 345

Farion,K. Et al. (2002). “Tissue adhesives for traumatic lacerations inchildren and adults.” CochraneDatabase system Rev.

Pearn,J. (1994). “The earliest days of first aid”. TheBritish Medical Journal,309, 2, 1718