What is Puncture wound: A puncture wound is a deep wound that occurs due to something sharp and pointed, such as a nail. A puncture wound is usually narrower and deeper than a cut or scrape. The opening on the skin is small, and the puncture wound may not bleed much. Puncture wounds can easily become infected.
Common causes of Puncture Wound
The most common causes of puncture wounds are external injuries that break or tear the skin. These causes include:
- Broken glass
- Car accidents
- Razor cuts
- Stepping on a sharp object, such as a nail
Puncture Wound First Aid
First of all, attempt to stop the bleeding by covering the wound with a clean bandage and applying gentle pressure. If the wound is bleeding heavily and you cannot stop it, immediately seek emergency medical care.
Next, clean the area thoroughly using a small alcohol wipe. Don’t attempt to wash a puncture wound. If you notice debris embedded into the puncture wound, don’t try to remove it. Don’t probe the wound if you realize part of the object that caused the wound has broken off. Instead, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Once the skin is clean, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to prevent infection. Cover the puncture wound with a bandage. You should change the bandage daily or sooner if it becomes wet or dirty. Check for signs of infection, such as:
- Drainage, such as pus, from the wound site
- Warmth or swelling in the surrounding area
Puncture Wound Home Remedies
- First, check to see that nothing is left in the wound.
- Check to see if the object that caused the wound is intact. If a piece is missing, it may be stuck in the wound.
- Allow the wound to bleed freely, but if bleeding is heavy or squirting out, apply pressure until it stops.
- If the bleeding won’t stop, the patient will need emergency care.
- The basics of wound care
- Stop the bleeding: Minor puncture wounds and cuts usually stop bleeding without any treatment. If not, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. If the blood spurts or continues after several minutes of pressure, emergency care is necessary.
- Clean the wound: The person that cleans the wound needs first to wash their hands; ideally, the person should wear sterile gloves. People may spread bacteria into the wound if their hands are not clean. Cleanse the wound; wash with water. People can use a mild soap such as Ivory if the wound is very dirty. If dirt or debris remains in the wound, clean a pair of tweezers with alcohol, and remove the dirt. If a person cannot get the dirt or debris out, the patient’s doctor should be notified or they should go to urgent care or emergency center.
- Protect the wound: An antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or Polysporin can be used. Apply a thin layer over the wound. This will help coat and protect the wound. Large amounts of ointment are not helpful because they can attract bacteria. Apply the ointment with a clean swab or gauze. Do not apply directly from the tube in order to avoid contamination of the tube. Ointments can be applied up to 3 times a day, but individuals should always clean the wound before applying ointment.
When to go to the hospital
Seek emergency medical attention in any of the following situations:
- If the wound is in the head, chest, or abdomen, unless it is very small, but it is better to be sure. If there is any concern, see a doctor.
- If there is loss of feeling, numbness, or inability to move an arm or leg below the wound
- If the wound is more than 24 hours old and the person develops signs of infection, such as redness at the area of the wound, swelling, pus drainage, fever over 100 F (37.3 C), or red streaks coming away from the wound
- If the wound does not stop bleeding after pressure is applied for 5 minutes
- If the wound has part of an object remaining in it, such as a pencil tip, nail, or piece of glass
- If a lot of dirt remains in the wound
- If the wound is gaping or there is white tissue (fatty tissue) or muscle visible
- If the person has a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, or takes steroids
- If the wound is close to or in an eye
Fastest Way to Heal Puncture Wound
Here are some right strategies that can be used to fasten the healing of your open wound.
- Wash your hands with soap and clean water before touching the wound.
- Avoid touching your wound directly with your fingers while treating it (use disposable gloves if possible).
- Remove jewelry and clothing from your injured body part.
- Use a clean gauze, mild solution, and sterile tweezers while cleaning open wounds.
- Clean your wound immediately with mild antiseptic solutions to wash-off bacteria or pathogens that may cause further infection.
- Flush the wound surface and interior as gently as you can with a mild or diluted soap or saline solution (small salt diluted in water) or bottled water or running tap water.
- Wipe the surface with a clean gauze piece (a thin transparent fabric of linen-cotton).
- Examine the wound for dirt or debris (glass pieces, wood pieces, etc.) that may be lodged inside your wound and remove it with sterile tweezers if possible.
- Do not use disinfectants and antiseptic solutions such as concentrated hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol to clean open wounds. They are more likely to damage tissues than to help it heal.
- Apply pressure to stop bleeding quickly and to prevent further anemia, and it may fasten the healing process.
- Cover the wound with absorbent materials such as sterile gauze pads (available over the counter), waterproof bandages, or a clean, dry cloth.
- Maintain pressure for one to five minutes. If the bleeding continues, then see a doctor.
- Apply a thin layer of antibiotic cream to prevent infection.