Daily activities in the house, workplace, school, or just about anywhere else can sometimes lead to a cut or a wound that bleeds. In an industrial setting, these cuts and wounds may even be worse and the occurrence may be more common. Severe cuts and wounds can become an emergency, and must be given immediate medical treatment. If the situation arises, having a private ambulance service helps in bringing the patient to the nearest hospital or clinic.
In any matter, it is important to address these cuts and wounds immediately with proper first-aid treatment before these injuries can become a matter of emergency.
You can understand more about providing proper first-aid response through our standard first aid course.
What are Cuts?
Cuts are lacerations or tears on the skin that take place as a result of an injury from external sources and factors.
Cuts can be shallow; referred to as superficial, damaging only the surface of the skin. It can also be deep, depending on the cause of the injury, and may potentially incur damage even on tendons, muscles, ligaments, and bones. Cuts can lead to both external and internal bleeding.
Apart from cuts, there are also openings on the skin that are brought about by sharp and pointed objects. These are called puncture wounds. Puncture wounds usually have very small openings, and because of this, bleeding can be easily controlled. However, puncture wounds get easily infected. Deep puncture wounds must be given medical attention immediately, especially if brought about by a rusty metal or an animal bite.
Both cuts and puncture wounds can lead to significant blood loss. With too much blood loss from the body, organ damage and failure can take place.
What causes Cuts?
Cuts are often caused by an external force or source. These sources include:
- Broken glasses
- Razor cuts
- Car accidents
Puncture wounds, on the other hand, come as a result of:
- Accidentally stepping on a sharp object like a piece of metal or nail
- Getting bitten
- Falling into a sharp object
How to tell if the bleeding is bad
Bleeding cuts and wounds are considered a medical emergency based on several factors.
Before treating any kind of cut or puncture wound, make sure to take a good look at the injury. This is because, in cases of internal bleeding or when a piece of the object that caused the wound remains intact into the wound, emergency help is immediately needed.
Furthermore, you need to consider the following factors for a cut or a wound to be classified as an emergency:
- If the wound is deep or jagged
- If the wound takes place on the face
- If the wound is a result of an animal bite
- If there is the presence of dirt that does not come out of the wound even after washing
- If the bleeding continues even after 15 to 20 minutes of applying the first-aid treatment
- If part of a muscle, tendon, or bone is exposed
Continuous bleeding can have serious repercussions since it can make the person fall into shock from blood loss. Observe for signs of shock like clammy skin, weak pulse, as well as loss of consciousness.
In cases like this, it is best to have the person lie down as you wait for the emergency help to come. If possible, place their legs in an elevated position above the heart. Doing so aids in blood circulation, directing blood to the vital organs. Don’t forget to apply continuous pressure on the wound.
Treatment for Cuts and Bleeding
Superficial cuts are typically treated at home and heal in a few days. Severe cuts and puncture wounds need to get attended to, especially if the bleeding does not stop.
First-Aid Treatment for Cuts
Here is what you can do to treat minor cuts at home.
- Apply gentle pressure on the cut to make the bleeding stop. If you are unable to make the bleeding stop, you must seek urgent medical treatment.
- Once you are able to stop the bleeding, proceed with cleaning the cut. You can use an alcohol wipe, an antiseptic wash, or just clean water. Dip a cotton swab into hydrogen peroxide, then gently work the cotton on the area of the cut. If there is debris that has remained on the surface of the cut, use a pair of tweezers sanitised with alcohol to remove the debris. However, if the debris is still attached to the cut, don’t attempt to remove it and instead head on to the nearest emergency room for medical help.
- Apply a layer of antibiotic cream on the cut once it has been cleaned. Doing so prevents the cut from getting infected.
- Using the proper dressing and bandage, provide cover on the cut. Make sure to change the bandage regularly, or if it gets wet or dirty.
If the cut is deep, it may require medical treatment. Treatment for deep and severe cuts may involve stitches or staples. Sometimes, antibiotics are also prescribed to avoid infections.
First-Aid Treatment for Puncture Wounds
Puncture wounds usually have smaller openings. These, however, tend to get infected more often. Here is what you can do to treat minor puncture wounds.
- Try to make the bleeding stop by applying gentle pressure on the wound with the use of a clean bandage. If the bleeding still doesn’t stop, seek urgent medical care.
- Next, clean the wound. To clean the wound, you need to use a piece of alcohol wipe. Don’t try to wash puncture wounds with water.
- If there is debris that remains attached to the wound, don’t attempt to remove it. Furthermore, if some parts of the object that caused the wound is still stuck inside the wound, don’t try to move it. Call emergency help as soon as possible.
- Apply antibiotic cream on the wound once it has been cleaned. This prevents the wound from getting infected.
- Cover the wound with a bandage. Make sure to change the bandage regularly, or if it gets wet or dirty. Monitor for signs of infection like redness, pus, or warmth and swelling whenever you change the bandage.
Complications of cuts and other wounds
The healing period of cuts and puncture wounds may usually take a few days. Within this timeframe, make sure to watch out for signs of complications which may include:
- A wound infection
- Sepsis or blood infection
- Loss of function in the affected area
- A cause for amputation
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage
Prevention of cuts and other wounds
Ensuring physical safety is crucial in the prevention of cuts, puncture wounds, and other injuries.
Here are some preventive measures you could do to avoid getting cuts and wounds as much as possible:
- When engaging in physical activities like sports, make sure that you are wearing the proper attire as well as the necessary protective gear.
- Wear shoes whenever going outside. Furthermore, look for shoes that have sturdy soles that cannot be penetrated by nails.
- In an industrial working environment, wear the appropriate safety gear before using heavy machinery, tools, or equipment.
- In cases of accidents, immediately clear away debris and shards, like broken glass, to prevent future injuries to other people.
- In the event of spills, make sure to quickly wipe it out before anyone walks or runs over it.