Many patients who go to the emergency room for lacerations and other wounds do not adequately care for their injuries when they get home. Emergency departments see many patients with wound care mistakes, such as not changing dressings often enough or not caring for the wound according to doctors’ orders. If you recently had a laceration repaired in the emergency room, there are steps you need to take after you get home to ensure that it heals properly. Here are some critical dos and don’ts of wound care. They will help your injury heal properly so that you can return to work or school as quickly as possible. If you have a deep wound or have lost too much blood, you need to see a specialist in wound care in Humble for proper treatment.
1. Stop the Bleeding
If you have a laceration, stop the bleeding before it becomes life-threatening. The emergency room staff should do this for you, but if they do not or your wound continues to bleed after you arrive home, apply pressure with a clean cloth. Keep applying pressure until the bleeding stops. Do not use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
2. Clean the Area
The first step to caring for a wound after being treated in the emergency room is cleaning it. You should clean your wound with mild soap or a unique wound cleanser once you get home. Use lukewarm water, not hot or cold, and gently wash around the injury so that you can remove any dirt, bacteria, or other debris left on the wound. Do not remove any blood clots that have formed over the damage because this helps prevent infection until your body starts making its natural clotting agents again.
3. Dress the Wound
After your wound has been cleaned, make sure to use sterile bandages when dressing it. If you used any emergency supplies in the emergency room before you left, they should have given you a dressing that will work for your injury. You can also purchase bandages at Walmart or other similar stores if necessary.
Place the correct type of dressing on your wound. There are three main types of dressings: gauze, dry, and hydrogel. A gauze dressing is a good option for a small cut or laceration because it protects from germs while allowing the wound to breathe so that there is less risk of infection. To use a gauze pad, simply place it on the wound and use adhesive tape to keep it in place. A dry dressing is another good choice because it allows the wound to get air, which helps promote healing.
4. Get a Tetanus Vaccine
After a laceration, you should get a tetanus vaccine to help your body fight tetanus. Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in the dirt, and it can cause painful spasms, so getting vaccinated for it after an injury can prevent or lessen these spasms. You will need to see a doctor to receive the vaccine because it is not something that you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy.
In summary, it is essential to clean your injury with mild soap or wound cleanser after being treated in the emergency room. Use proper dressings, which include gauze pads and hydrogel dressings. After you change your bandage, make sure to get a tetanus vaccine if one was not given during treatment at the emergency room.