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Proper Wound Care Important to Recovery July 1, 2010

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Rebecca Sylvester at 706/828-2394.

Proper Wound Care Important to Recovery

AUGUSTA, GA. (July 1, 2010) – Tis the season for increased falls, cuts, scrapes and burns, especially in children. University Registered Nurse Beth Barranco urges parents to follow good wound care guidelines.

First and foremost, clean cuts and scrapes gently with cool water and a mild soap. “Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or iodine as they can actually harm the skin and delay healing,” Ms. Barranco said. “Apply an antibiotic cream to keep the wound moist and prevent infection, and cover the wound with a bandage to keep out bacteria and possible infection.”

For burns, immediately cool the burned area with cool running water or a cold rag. This will keep the skin from holding in the heat and continuing to burn. “Afterward, wash the burn with soap and water and dress it lightly,” Ms. Barranco said. “Leave any blisters that form alone -- they help to protect the skin as it heals.”

It is important to monitor wounds for infection, she said. Look for the following:

  • Redness that spreads out from your injury
  • Swelling
  • Green or yellow fluid
  • Increased warmth or tenderness
  • Body aches, chills or fever

If you have any of these signs, you should call your physician, Ms. Barranco said. You should also consult a physician if the wound:

  • Won’t stop bleeding after 5-10 minutes of pressure
  • Is deeper or longer than a half-inch
  • Is near the eye, is gaping or ragged; was caused by something dirty or rusty; has dirt or gravel stuck in it; shows signs of infection; or was caused by an animal or human bite.

Also see a doctor if you aren’t sure if you’re up-to-date on your tetanus vaccine.

For more information on wound care, contact ASK-A-NURSE at 706.737.8423. For daily updates, follow Beth on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bbarrancoRN

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