• Wound Care

    January 10, 2023 admin

    Open Wound: Types, Treatments, and Complications

    What exactly is an open wound?

    An open wound is a type of injury that involves an external or internal break in body tissue, most commonly the skin. Almost everyone will have an open wound at some point in their lives. Most open wounds are minor and treatable at home.

    The most common causes of open wounds are falls, accidents with sharp objects, and car accidents. In the event of a serious accident, you should seek medical attention right away. This is especially true if the bleeding is severe or lasts longer than 20 minutes.

    Are there various types of open wounds?

    There are four types of open wounds, each with its own classification based on the cause.


    When your skin rubs or scrapes against a rough or hard surface, it causes an abrasion. Abrasions include things like road rash. Although there is usually little bleeding, the wound must be scrubbed and cleaned to avoid infection.


    A laceration is a deep cut or tearing in your skin. Lacerations are frequently caused by mishaps with knives, tools, and machinery. Deep lacerations can result in rapid and extensive bleeding.


    A puncture is a small hole caused by a long, pointy object like a nail or needle. A bullet can sometimes cause a puncture wound.

    Punctures may not bleed heavily, but the wounds can be deep enough to cause internal organ damage. If you have even a minor puncture wound, see your doctor for a tetanus shot to avoid infection.


    Avulsion is the tearing away of skin and tissue beneath the skin. Avulsions are typically caused by violent accidents such as body crushing, explosions, and gunshots. They bleed profusely and quickly.

    How are open wounds cared for?

    Some wounds can be treated at home, while others may necessitate a visit to your doctor for a medical solution.

    Minor wound care at home:

    Minor wounds are treatable at home. To begin, thoroughly clean and disinfect the wound to remove all dirt and debris. Control bleeding and swelling with direct pressure and elevation.

    Always use a sterile dressing or bandage when wrapping the wound. Minor wounds may heal without the use of a bandage. For five days, you must keep the wound clean and dry. You should also ensure that you get enough rest.

    A wound is usually accompanied by pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken as directed on the package. Aspirin-containing products should be avoided because they can cause or prolong bleeding.

    If you have bruising or swelling, apply ice and avoid picking at scabs. Use a sun-protective sunscreen when spending time outside.

    When to see a doctor

    Although you can treat some wounds at home, you should see a doctor if:

    • an open wound is deeper than 1/2 inch
    • bleeding doesn’t stop with direct pressure
    • bleeding lasts longer than 20 minutes
    • bleeding is the result of a serious accident

    Medical treatments include:

    To treat your open wound, your doctor may employ a variety of techniques. Your doctor may close the wound with skin glue, sutures, or stitches after cleaning and possibly numbing the area. If you have a puncture wound, you may be given a tetanus shot.

    Depending on the location of your wound and the risk of infection, your doctor may decide not to close it and allow it to heal naturally. This is known as secondary intention healing, which refers to healing from the wound’s base to the superficial epidermis.

    This procedure may necessitate packing your wound with gauze. Although the healing process is unsightly, it prevents infection and abscess formation.

    Pain medication is another option for treating an open wound. If you have an infection or are at high risk of developing an infection, your doctor may also prescribe penicillin or another antibiotic. In some cases, surgery may be required.

    If a body part is severed, it should be taken to a hospital for reattachment. Wrap the affected area in moist gauze and pack it with ice.

    You may be wearing bandages and dressings when you leave the doctor’s office. When changing bandages and dressings, it’s critical to wash your hands and work on a clean surface.

    Before redressing the wound, thoroughly clean and dry it. Place used dressings and bandages in plastic bags for disposal.

    Are there any risks associated with having an open wound?

    The most serious complication of an open wound is the possibility of infection. If you’ve had a puncture, deep laceration, or serious accident and are experiencing significant bleeding or infection, call your doctor right away.

    Continuous bleeding that does not respond to direct pressure is a sign of haemorrhage. If the wound shows the following signs of infection:

    • an increase in drainage
    • thick green, yellow, or brown pus
    • pus with a foul odor

    Other signs of infection include:

    • a fever of over 100.4°F (38°C) for more than four hours
    • a tender lump in your groin or armpit
    • a wound that isn’t healing

    If a bacterial infection develops, your doctor will drain or debride the wound and may prescribe an antibiotic. In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove infected tissue as well as surrounding tissue.

    The following conditions can arise from an open wound:

    • Lockjaw. This condition is caused by an infection with the tetanus-causing bacteria. It can cause jaw and neck muscle contractions.
    • Fasciitis necrotizing. This is a severe soft tissue infection caused by bacteria such as Clostridium and Streptococcus, which can result in tissue loss and sepsis.
    • Cellulitis. This is a skin infection that is not directly related to the wound.

    Wounds from cuts and piercings:

    A cut, also known as a laceration, is a tear or opening in the skin caused by an external injury. It can be superficial, affecting only the skin’s surface, or deep enough to include:

    • Tendons
    • Muscles
    • Ligaments
    • Bones

    A puncture wound is a deep wound caused by something sharp and pointed, like a nail. Because the skin opening is small, the puncture wound may not bleed much. Puncture wounds are easily infected. A deep puncture wound should always be examined by a doctor. Puncture wounds caused by a bite or stepping on a rusted piece of metal, such as a nail, require immediate medical attention.

    A cut can result in both external and internal bleeding. If a significant cut is not treated promptly and properly, it can result in profuse bleeding. Cuts and puncture wounds that result in excessive blood loss or damage to the organs can be fatal.

    What are the reasons?

    External injuries that break or tear the skin are the most common causes of cuts and puncture wounds. Among these causes are:

    • Falls
    • car accidents
    • broken glass
    • stabbings
    • razor cuts

    The most common causes for puncture wounds include:

    • stepping on a sharp object, such as a nail
    • getting bitten
    • falling onto something sharp

    Although puncture wounds do not typically bleed profusely, they are susceptible to infection. This is especially true if the wound was caused by a bite or a rusty object. If this is the case, see your doctor right away.

    First-aid treatment for cuts and puncture wounds:

    Minor cuts and puncture wounds can be treated at home. Immediate medical attention is required for more severe cuts or puncture wounds.


    First, apply gentle pressure to the cut to stop any bleeding. If the cut is bleeding profusely and you are unable to stop it, seek medical attention right away.

    Next, thoroughly clean the cut with an alcohol wipe, antiseptic wash, or clean water. To clean the cut, dip a cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide and lightly roll it over the area. To remove debris from the cut surface, use tweezers that have been cleaned with alcohol. If you see debris in the cut, don’t try to remove it.

    After cleaning the wound, apply an antibiotic cream to it. This can help to prevent infection and hasten healing. Wrap a bandage around the cut. Replace the bandage on a daily basis and whenever it becomes wet or dirty.

    Deeper cuts may necessitate medical attention. Deep cuts can be treated with stitches, staples, or liquid stitches.

    Antibiotics may also be required to prevent infection.

    Puncture injuries:

    First, try to stop the bleeding by applying gentle pressure to the wound with a clean bandage. If the wound is bleeding profusely and you are unable to stop it, seek emergency medical attention right away.

    Then, using a small alcohol wipe, thoroughly clean the area. Do not try to clean a puncture wound. Do not attempt to remove debris embedded in the puncture wound. If you notice that a piece of the object that caused the wound has broken off, do not probe it. Instead, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

    To prevent infection, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream after cleaning the skin. Wrap a bandage around the puncture wound. If the bandage gets wet or dirty, you should change it every day.

    • Redness
    • drainage, such as pus, from the wound site
    • warmth or swelling in the surrounding area

    When is a cut or a puncture wound considered an emergency?

    Although most minor puncture wounds and cuts heal without treatment other than first aid and home care, some should be treated right away. Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:

    • the bleeding is heavy, spurting, or doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of applying pressure
    • feeling and function are impaired in the area of the cut or wound
    • muscle, tendon, or bone is exposed

    Contact your doctor immediately if:

    • debris is embedded in the cut or wound
    • the cut or wound occurred due to a bite
    • you haven’t had a tetanus shot in 10 years
    • you stepped on an object, such as a nail
    • the cut or wound occurred due to a fish hook
    • the cut or wound shows the symptoms of infection, such as swelling around the site, throbbing pain, or fluid leaking from the cut or wound

    Your doctor may advise you to get a tetanus shot.

    Cut and puncture wound complications:

    Complications from a cut or puncture wound may include:

    • a wound infection; – a blood infection, also known as sepsis
    • Gastroenteritis
    • amputation – loss of function in the wound area
    • nerve injury
    • Organ dysfunction

    Cut and puncture wound prevention:

    To ensure your physical safety, take the following precautions to avoid cuts and puncture wounds:

    • Never participate in sports without proper protective equipment.
    • Wear shoes with sturdy soles that cannot be punctured by a nail.
    • Never operate heavy machinery or tools without proper safety equipment and footwear.
    • Remove any debris, such as broken glass, as soon as possible after an accident.
    • Allow spills to dry before running or walking over them, especially on slippery surfaces.
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