The importance of proper wound care

The Importance of Proper Wound Care

We are in the depths of summertime and with sun and fun comes a prime time for accidents and injuries. With a record number of wound-related injuries reported during this time of year, it is important to understand the difference between types of wounds and how to seek treatment. It is also important for healthcare providers to know how to properly treat a wound and to detect infection. As we explore the different types of wounds and how to properly provide proper care, keep in mind the importance of preventing infections and how to recognize the signs and symptoms, and how DTPM can provide accurate and fast PCR testing to assist healthcare providers with proper diagnoses and an appropriate plan of action for treatment.

Types of Wounds

There are several different types of wounds but they can also be simply categorized as open or closed wounds. Open wounds are defined as a break in the skin that leaves internal tissue exposed to the elements. Some examples of open wounds include puncture wounds, lacerations, abrasions, ulcers, and burns. A closed wound is defined as internal tissue damage and bleeding that occurs under the surface of the skin such as a bruise. Many open wounds such as minor cuts and scrapes can be treated at home with proper care utilizing first aid supplies.

Follow these steps:

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
    1. Ensures no foreign dirt or material can be transferred to your wound while cleaning.
    2. Wearing disposable gloves is advisable if they are available to you.
  2. Do not remove anything deeply embedded in the wound – seek immediate medical advice (see below).
    1. Foreign objects may be reducing potential blood loss by obstructing the opening.
    2. Removing the object may cause additional harm and increased blood loss.
  3. Rinse the wound under running tap water for 5 to 10 minutes.
    1. Use cold water as bacteria may grow in hot water tanks and be introduced to the wound if you use hot or warm water.
  4. Soak a gauze pad or cloth in saline solution or tap water, or use an alcohol-free wipe, and gently dab or wipe the affected area.
    1. Antiseptics may damage the skin and are not advised.
  5. Gently pat the area dry using a clean and sterile towel or gauze.
    1. Avoid fabrics that shed as strands of material may become stuck to the wound.
  6. Apply a sterile dressing, such as a non-adhesive gauze pad with medical tape
    1. Use a waterproof dressing if available.
    2. Adjust how the dressing is secured to the body to account for any movement.
    3. Be sure not to apply adhesive on the wound itself by using a large enough dressing.
  7. If blood quickly soaks through the dressing, leave it in place and add another layer of dressing while continuing to apply pressure on the wound.
    1. If bleeding continues beyond 20 minutes, seek immediate medical care.

When treating someone else be sure to narrate your actions as you perform them so they are aware and can expect them. Ensure the individual is sitting or lying down in a comfortable position which allows you full access to the wound without requiring additional movement on the patient’s part during wound treatment.

If the wound is more than 1/2 inch deep or the bleeding does not stop with direct pressure or lasts longer than 20 minutes, please seek medical attention immediately.

When to seek medical advice

Visit your nearest urgent treatment center, or call NHS 111 if the wound:

  • Does not stop bleeding (lasting longer than 20 minutes).
  • Is very large or very deep (over 1/2 inch).
  • Has dirt or other foreign material embedded in it.
  • Is too painful for you to properly clean.
  • Is near to a major blood vessel or joint.
  • Becomes red and swollen or streaky, or leaks pus (indicates infection).
  • Was caused by a bite – all animal and human bites require additional medical care.

Wound Care and What are the Signs of Infection?

The most common complication for a wound is the risk of infection. It is important to properly care for a wound so it heals completely with as few complications as possible. Wounds that are not cleaned properly are at an increased risk of infection, but all wounds may be at risk. Monitor your healing process and keep an eye out for signs of infection.

Signs of infection include the following:

  • Swelling and redness around the wound and can be hot to the touch.
  • An increase in drainage of blood and pus.
  • Thick green, yellow, or brown pus that could have a foul odor.
  • Developing a feverof over 100.4°F (38°C) for more than four hours.
  • The wound does not show signs of healing.

If an infection in an open wound is not detected in time and treated properly, the condition can become more severe and develop into more dangerous conditions such as lockjaw, necrotizing fasciitis, and cellulitis.

  • Lockjaw:a condition caused by an infection from the bacteria that cause tetanus. It can cause muscle contractions in your jaw and neck.
  • Necrotizing fasciitis: severe soft tissue infectioncaused by a variety of bacteria including Clostridium and Streptococcus which can lead to tissue loss and sepsis.
  • Cellulitis: an infection of your skinthat is not in immediate contact with the wound. Cellulitis is a common and sometimes painful bacterial skin infection. It may first appear as a red, swollen area that feels hot and tender to the touch. The redness and swelling can spread quickly.

How To Treat Infections caused by Wounds and How DTPM can Help

If there are signs of infection, Healthcare providers will determine the extent of the infection and drain or debride the wound. In more severe cases, the patient may need a surgical procedure to remove the infected tissue and potentially infected surrounding tissue. many will often prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections but because of antibiotic resistance, it is important to provide more information in order to determine the cause of infection and DTPM can help.

DTPM can help healthcare providers determine the basis of the infection and help determine the proper treatment. DTPM provides a wound molecular testing panel that is a comprehensive panel detecting, by Molecular Technique, the most common pathogens infected wounds and soft skin.

Our panel can quickly manage skin and soft tissue infections, avoiding delays in diagnosis and preventing infections from progressing. One of the most unique aspects of the DTPM is the resistance markers to avoid ineffective antibiotics. With the DTPM Wound Panel, The following pathogens can be detected:

  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Bacteroides spp.
  • Citrobacter freundii
  • Citrobacter braakii
  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • Enterobacter cloacae
  • Escherichia coli
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Klebsiella oxytoca
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Morganella morganii
  • Psuedomonas aeruginosa
  • Proteus mirabilis
  • Proteus vulgaris
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Endogenous Control

For Research Use Only. Not for use In diagnostic procedures.

Proper wound care is vital to a patient’s care to ensure proper healing and avoid infection. DTPM wants to help healthcare providers to provide the best care possible for the patient.

DTPM Inc. is a nationwide provider of laboratory products, services, and solutions. DTPM has partnered with laboratories since 1993 to provide a comprehensive array of instrumentation, custom assays, laboratory consumables, supplies, and ongoing service and support.

Call Us: 256-845-1261

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