Morning Rounds: How to manage, care for cuts and wounds

Dr. Ryan Light of TPMG Medical sat down with Blaine and Jessica Tuesday morning to discuss how to treat cuts.

Erica’s son recently got a cut. She received conflicting advice on how to treat it. Some articles said chlorine in pools helps treat cuts, while others said to keep cuts away the from pool. Other advice differed on whether to bandage a cut or allow it to breath without any covering.

Dr. Light’s interview with Blaine and Jessica: 

Erica’s son recently got a cut. She received conflicting advice on how to treat it. Some articles said chlorine in pools helps treat cuts, while others said to keep cuts away the from pool. Other advice differed on whether to bandage a cut or allow it to breath without any covering.

What steps should be taken after a cut?
Proper wound care starts right after the injury.  Good wound care will prevent infections and scar formation.  There are four steps to proper wound care. The first is to stop the bleeding using clean gauze and direct pressure (most injuries will stop bleeding with ten minutes.)  The next step is cleansing of the wound. Thirdly cover the wound. Lastly watch for infection.

What should be used to clean the wound?
The best solutions for cleaning a wound is a diluted saltwater or a mild soap solution.  Other solutions such as hydrogen peroxide and alcohol are caustic to the tissue and lead to delayed skin healing and can be painful.  Water can be used for gently flushing and washing debris.

Should the wound be covered or left uncovered?
Wounds should be covered. Research shows that there is less pain, scarring, risk of infection, and shorter healing times when the wound is covered.  Uncovered wounds will form scabs which delays the healing process, increase reinjury, and scar formation.

Should the pool be avoided with an open wound?
Water is recommended for initial cleansing of the injury, however the water in pools, ponds, and lakes will delay wound healing and can lead to bacterial infections. The chlorine in pools is to strong and will destroys new tissue development, leading to delayed healing.

When should medical attention be sought?
Seek medical care:
Deep laceration (evaluation for sutures within 24 hours)
Tetanus shot (laceration or puncture wound, and have not received tetanus shot with in the last five years)
Difficulty with controlling bleeding
Signs of infection (pain, redness or red streaks from the wound, pus, fever).

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