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If you are like most of us, you have had a wound that needs dressing changes.
You were probably given some instructions on how to do it at home.
You should get to the doctor or emergency room if the wound or cut is 1/8th inch or more deep, gaping, or jagged. If it is over a joint, as the bending will keep the wound open, it will probably need stitches. Also, if there is anything in the wound, it will need cleaning out.
You should also see a doctor if the wound was caused by a human or animal bite.
But especially if you can’t get the bleeding to stop, by applying pressure.
You will also need a tetanus shot if it has been more than 5 to 10 years since you last had one. For those that are allergic to the tetanus shot, there is now one that even you can take.
Most likely you will come home with a bandage or dressing with instructions on how to take care of it or how to change the bandage, follow those instructions to the letter, to prevent infection.
This will tell you what you need to do before changing the dressing, during and after to help prevent infection.
If it is a sterile procedure, you will use sterile gloves and keep everything sterile and should be instructed on this before leaving either the emergency room or hospital.
* Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
* Lay out all the necessary supplies, such as, bandages, tape, and scissors, cleaning agent and a plastic bag to place all soiled bandages in after removing them.
* Place a clean pad, sterile if instructed to do so, or towel under the wound that has the bandage.
* If you were instructed to wear rubber gloves, then put them on.
* Cut the bandage, away from the wound, and carefully remove it and place in the plastic bag, for disposal later.
* Change gloves, as these have been soiled with the old bandage.
* Cleanse the wound with the cleaning agent, which the doctor has instructed you to use, starting with the inner wound and going to the outer edge, at least 2 inch area. DO NOT go back to the center of the wound with the pad, as this will contaminate what you just cleaned.
* Wash the wound as prescribed by your doctor, using what he has instructed you to use, such as alcohol or another cleaning agent.
* Apply any medication that the doctor has prescribed using a sterile or clean Q-tip,DO NOT, use the same one on more than one wound.
* Apply the bandage or dressing as instructed.
* Dispose of all soiled cleaning supplies and place in plastic bag, double knot it and place in appropriate receptacle.
Always note the following:
* Redness, around the wound
* Odor, unusual odor coming from the wound
* Drainage, clear, purulent or yellow, greens, bloody
* Swelling, in and around wound or above or below wound area.
* Warmth, does it feel warm to touch?
If any of the above are noticed, call your doctor immediately, your wound may be infected and needs immediately attentions. And by all means keep all appointments for your wound.