Dealing With A Puncture Wound
No, this isn’t about car and bike maintenance. This to prepare you for any accidents at home or work that may result in a piercing wound.
Some example of common causes of puncture wounds are stepping on a nail, accidentally getting poked with a pencil or other sharp instrument or even an animal bite.
Wondering if the biggest risk associated with a puncture wound is blood loss? Well, you’re not wrong, but the odds of sustaining a puncture wound serious enough to cause severe blood loss are very slim. More often than not, it’s infection that you need to worry about.
Here are some basic first-aid steps you can take for a puncture wound, before heading to the emergency room.
- Stop the bleeding: If the piercing object has already been removed from the victim’s body, take a moment to wash/clean your hands. Next, grab a clean cloth and apply pressure to the wound to reduce bleeding.
- Clean the wound: Spend at least 5-10 minutes on cleaning the wound as best as you can. Use water to do this. If you can still make out dirt, debris or other particles present in the wound, you may use tweezers for further cleaning. Make sure you clean the tweezers with alcohol first. Follow this up by cleaning the area around the wound with soap, water and a washcloth.
- Apply an antibiotic: Neosporin and polysporin are easily available antibiotic creams/ointments. However, some ointments contain certain ingredients that can set off a mild rash in some people. If you see signs of a rash upon applying the cream/ointment, stop using it immediately and seek medical attention.
- Keep the wound covered: Bandages keep the wound clean, giving your body a chance to heal while also keeping the risk of infections and further trauma to a minimum.
- Change the dressing: This must be done at least once daily, and/or whenever the bandage becomes wet or dirty.
- Keep an eye on it: Be alert for signs of infection. These include redness, increase in pain, warmth in the wounded area, swelling and drainage. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call a doctor straight away.
When it comes to puncture wounds, you may need emergency care in the following scenarios:
- Bleeding doesn’t stop/reduce even after several minutes of applied pressure.
- The wound is the result of having been bitten by an animal or human.
- The wound is very deep/ you’re unable to sufficiently clean the wound/ it was caused by a metal object.
For Emergency Services at CARE click here.