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CUTS & WOUNDS
Emergency departments handle more than
11 million traumatic wounds each year.
Without proper cleansing and wound care, acute wounds can lead to complications such as poor healing and infection. Whichever ER you go to should be most concerned with minimizing your pain, preventing infection, restoring normal function, and cosmetic restoration.
Inflammation, infection, or residual debris may delay or prevent adequate healing, so you want to make sure you seek emergency care right away if you are wounded.
Proper Wound Care at Hospitality Health ER
Appropriate wound dressing, patient education, environmental considerations, and clinical follow-up care are essential to your healing. Our experienced doctors will identify any emergency surgical concerns and will coordinate a wound care specialist for elevated cases.
Because we want to reduce the risk of infection and scar formation, we will advise you on best follow-up care to promote normal healing. We will work with your primary care physician or outpatient clinic for ongoing evaluation of the healing process depending on the closure technique used.
For both adults and children, proper wound evaluation and cleansing can lead to emotional and physical distress that can be better managed with anesthetics. Because children are more prone to distress, Hospital Health ER has pediatric-trained doctors and nurses to help put children at ease.
Our protocols are designed to minimize your child’s stress and pain during treatment of a wound. This includes the use of topical and local anesthetics to address simple lacerations.
- Wash Your Hands: If circumstances permit, wash your hands before handling a wound.
- Stop the Bleeding by adding pressure to the wound site with a clean towel, tissue, or gauze. Add more cloth or gauze on top if blood is soaking through. If the wound is on the arm or leg, raise the limb above the heart to help slow the bleeding.
- Clean Cut or Wound: To prevent infection, clean the wound with soap and warm water and rinse the soap out of the wound to prevent irritation, if possible. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or iodine, which can damage tissue.
- Protect the Wound from Infection: Apply antibiotic cream to reduce risk of infection and cover with a sterile bandage. Change the bandage daily to keep the wound clean and dry.
- The wound is deep or the edges are jagged or gaping open.
- Muscle is exposed.
- The wound is on the person’s face.
- Bleeding won’t stop after 15 minutes of pressure.
- The wound has dirt or debris that you can’t remove.
- The wound shows signs of infection, such as redness, tenderness, or a thick discharge.
- The injured person runs a fever.
- The area around the wound feels numb.
- Red streaks form around the wound.
- You think the injury has involved the bone.
- You cannot move or feel the injured extremity.
- You can’t clean the wound adequately because it’s too deep, grimy, or painful.
- You’ve lost joint range of motion.
- You may have cut a tendon that needs repair.
- You haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past five years.
- The abdominal cavity is punctured (because of the risk of unseen bleeding and extreme likelihood of serious infections).
- It is a neck wound with profuse bleeding.
- It is an airway wound.
- The blood spurts. This may indicate a cut artery. If the artery is not surgically reconnected within hours, the tissue dies and the dead tissue may need to be surgically amputated to prevent infection of the bloodstream and flesh.
- You have diabetes or certain other chronic diseases. (Your wounds are more likely to get infected because you heal more slowly.)
- The tissue around your cut becomes swollen, more tender, or more red.
- Cloudy pus is coming from the wound.
There are several factors that can directly impact how your wound heals. Keeping your wound in a moist environment can prevent cell dehydration and death, promote the development of new blood vessels, fight off bacteria, reduce pain, and improve how the wound heals cosmetically. While it hasn’t been confirmed if antibiotics are exactly helpful or not, evidence suggests that they may help with the formation of new tissue. Follow up care through a primary care doctor or a wound specialist is also important to the healing process.
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