We have all suffered cuts and scrapes that we can take care of in our home. But what about more serious wounds, such as those requiring stitches or hospitalization?
Different Types of Wounds
Most of us think that wounds occur as a result of accidents. But even clean surgical incisions are considered wounds. The places of the body through which tubes or catheters are inserted are also considered as injuries. The skin is the largest organ of the body and helps protect us from the germs (bacteria, fungi and viruses) that live on it. Therefore, anything that breaks the skin is a wound because when the skin breaks down there is a risk that the germs will enter the body and cause an infection.
The deeper, bigger or dirtier the wound, the more care it requires. That’s why a team of doctors and nurses specially trained in wound care treatment london work together to control and treat serious injuries.
Doctors and nurses begin by evaluating a wound according to the risk of infection. “Clean” wounds (those that are not contaminated with bacteria) have the lowest risk of infection, making it easy to treat. The incision that a surgeon makes in the knee during a cruciate ligament repair is most likely a clean wound because before the surgery the area was cleaned with an antibacterial solution and this is a place where the risk of an infection is low.
Dirty or infected wounds, such as abscesses or gunshot wounds, are something entirely different. They usually require special treatment and controls to prevent infections.
Sometimes a wound is clean but there is a risk of infection by the place of the body in which it is. If the wound is in an area with more bacteria (such as the urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract or respiratory tract), liquids and other contaminants can enter the wound and cause infection.
If a wound is clean, the doctor will close it with stitches to join the edges in two separate layers. But doctors do not always close a wound immediately. If there is a chance that the wound will become contaminated, it will be left open for cleaning. If a contaminated wound is closed, the bacteria may become trapped inside and cause an infection. When they are sure that there are no more bacteria or other contaminants remaining, they will close the wound or sew it.
Care of Serious Injuries At home
Severe wounds do not heal overnight. The body may take weeks to generate new tissue. Therefore, when you leave the hospital or the doctor’s office, it is important that you take good care of the wound in your home to prevent infections and minimize scarring.
Because wounds can be very different from each other, your doctor will give you instructions for your care when you leave the hospital and go home. In most cases, doctors will ask patients to do the following:
Keep the wound covered with clean gauze until it stops draining. The doctor or nurse will tell you how and how often you need to change the gauze.
Wait 2 to 4 days after surgery for a shower. As each case is different, ask your doctor or nurse what you should do before returning to take a shower.
Avoid baths in the tub or pools until your next doctor visit. Dirt in the water could enter the wound and contaminate it. In addition, there is a risk of the wound opening if it becomes too wet.
Prevent pets from getting close to the wound.
Avoid touching or scratching scabs. Scabs can cause itching while the skin underneath is healed, but if you scratch or scratch it, you can tear off the new skin underneath. The wound will take longer to heal and the scar that it leaves may be worse.
Our bodies depend on vitamins and minerals for healing. Try to eat healthy foods (especially large amounts of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and lean proteins) while the wound is healing. Drink plenty of water and eat foods high in fiber, such as whole grains to avoid constipation.
Your wound may heal quickly, but the scars will take longer. If you have a thick scar, try massaging the area with a lotion or petroleum jelly. This helps the collagen to mix with the elastin of the surrounding skin and reduces scar a little. Before massaging the wound, ask your doctor or nurse to take care of your wound if it is convenient for you to do so.
When To Call The Doctor
If a large or deep wound becomes infected, it can become a serious problem. Contact your doctor or surgeon immediately.