First Aid for Open Wounds

If the wound is in an inconspicuous location, is not deep, and gapes slightly, the first-aider may find that he need only hold the wound edges together and dress and bandage the injury. At times, however, it may be difficult for the first-aider to decide whether a wound needs medical care. He may ask himself, for example, whether it will need suturing by a physician.

Example of Open-wound condition that require medical treatment :

  • Blood spurting from a wound even if controlled initially by first aid.
  • Bleeding that persists despite all efforts to control it.
  • An incised wound deeper than the outer layer of skin.
  • Any laceration, deep puncture or avulsion.
  • Severed or crushed nerve, tendon, or muscle.
  • Laceration of the face or other parts of the body where scar tissues would be noticeable after healing.
  • Skin broken by a bite, human or animal.
  • Heavy contamination of a wound by soil or organic fertilizer (manure).
  • Foreign object embedded deep in the tissue.
  • Foreign matter in a wound, not possible to remove by washing.
  • Any other open-wound situation in which there is doubt about what to do.

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