Puncture wounds may be caused by different factors, and this is why it is important to have knowledge on the first aid treatment for puncture wounds. The similarity for such wounds, regardless of where they occur is that they will often cause perforation of the skin, leaving a bloody pen wound. Whenever you are giving first aid for this kind of an injury, you should always call 9-1-1 if the following characteristics are present:
- The wound spurts blood so that it gushes out under pressure.
- If bleeding persists following 10 minutes of pressure application.
- If the wound is accompanied by life threatening symptoms such as shallow breathing, emesis, unconsciousness or extreme persistent pain.
- If the puncture wound is located on the neck, the head, the chest or the abdomen.
As you wait for medical help to arrive, follow the following steps for first aid treatment for puncture wounds:
The information posted below is for learning purposes only. To learn to manage puncture wounds enrol in a workplace approved first aid course near you.
1) Get rid of the object that caused the puncture wound, only if you can. Ideally, small objects are easier to remove than big ones. If the object is embedded leave it in place and provide sterile pressure around the wound.
2) Work to stop the bleeding. This is achieved by the application of pressure on the affected region. Make sure that you use a sterile gauze to avoid infecting the wound. Do this until bleeding ceases.
3) Make sure that you clean the wound, only if you have done the first two steps outlined above. This is an integral part of ensuring that first aid treatment for puncture wounds is done properly. Rinse the wound to get rid of the blood before cleaning the area with a solution of soap and warm water. Rinse once more. You could choose to use a disinfectant, but after rinsing, make sure that you apply antibiotic cream to reduce chances of infection. You will then take a sterile bandage and tie it at the site of the wound to prevent dirt from entering the site as well as decrease the chances of additional injury.
4) In many cases, first aid treatment for puncture wounds is not complete until some form of analgesia is provided. The purpose of this is to reduce the pain, or at the very least make it manageable. Some of the pain killers that you could administer include ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You must be very careful however, to check with the physician so that the patient does not have any underlying conditions which could react with the medication given.
5) Make a follow up to ensure that the puncture wound heals as it should. You should see a physician if there are signs of redness or the pain does not subside. Inquire at the doctor’s to find out whether a tetanus shot is necessary. In line with this, find out too whether you will need any antibiotic medication as this depends on the nature of the wound.
These simple steps that constitute the first aid treatment for puncture wounds will go a long way in ensuring that the wound does not undergo re-infection. Master these steps; you never know when they will come in handy.