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Avoid These Common At-Home Wound Care Mistakes

Avoid These Common At-Home Wound Care Mistakes

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emergency wound care

Always head straight to the emergency room when dealing with a stab wound.

Let’s face it, very few of us are experts when it comes to wound care. Injuries sustained at home are always spontaneous, and it can be hard to think clearly while trying to treat a wound. While a minor paper cut or a little bump on the head can easily be treated with widely known remedies, most severe injuries tend to stir panic, leading to irrational judgment of how to adhere to the wound. Here are a few tips to remember in case these occasions of emergency arise:

Severed finger

Whether it’s chopping up ingredients in the kitchen or sawing wood in the garage, there are a number of ways a severed finger accident can arise. One of the general mistakes people make when it comes to treating a cut-off finger tip is placing the amputated part in a bag of ice to try and preserve it. It is strongly advised by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons never to do this because it will only cause further damage and make attaching the tip back to the finger more difficult. Instead, wrap the severed part up in a damp gauze dressing, and if you have time try to dampen the bandage with saline solution. Place the tip in a watertight bag and then you will finally place the bag in a container of ice to take with you to the emergency room.


While it’s easy to conclude that placing ice upon a burn wound is an effective measure of reducing swelling, but the truth of the matter is you’re only prompting more damage. Applying extremely cold temperatures to a burn will slow down the healing process, and possibly produce frostbite or provoke inflammatory symptoms. Instead you should place the burn under running cool water, and cover it up with a sterile gauze dressing. Using over-the-counter pain medication is also recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

Stab wound

If in the serious event of enduring a knife or other object puncturing your skin, the first instinct is to grab the device and yank it out of the wound. If the object is still lodged within your body, do not try to pull it out. This will only cause more blood to be lost, and moving it in any direction can cause further damage to the interior of your body. Instead, don’t waste time attempting to take the knife out, try to stop the bleeding as much as possible and get to the nearest hospital as fast as you can.

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