Cuts happen to all of us. They can be completely unexpected, occurring at the worst time possible. Even though not always serious, cuts can be exceptionally unpleasant. They can also be dangerous in some cases – the STOP The Bleeding campaign by the PMC reports that there are more than 5 million people who die every year due to a traumatic injury. They can cause sharp pain and burning sensation when they occur, and even lead to inflammation, pain and other symptoms afterward. There are many causes for cuts – a countless number of mistakes lead to cuts. You accidentally cut your finger while slicing vegetables, slip your fingers over wood and a splinter causes a cut, or perhaps you walked against a platform with a sharp object attached to it.
Possible Complications Of Cuts
When you suffer a cut, no matter whether it is insignificant or severe, treatment should follow the cut to avoid any complications from occurring. Many possible complications may develop when a cut wound is left untreated. The primary reason for treating a wound as soon as possible is to stop the initial bleeding – losing too much blood can be hazardous to your health. In extreme cases, where a wound causes excessive bleeding, treatment needs to be administered to avoid anemia. In addition to excessive bleeding, it is vital to understand that an untreated cut or wound can also lead to infection. An infectious wound can lead to potentially severe complications if not treated, but preventing an infection in the first place should always be aimed for.
How To Treat A Cut Or Wound That Is Bleeding
Realizing the potential dangers and complications of an untreated wound or cut, you should now know that treating a cut as soon as it occurs is essential. There are some basic steps that you should take in order to minimize the risk of infection and possible excessive bleeding, as well as to ensure a speedy recovery from the injury.
The very first step should always be to stop the bleeding as fast as you possibly can. Don’t push anything into the cut or wound, however. Instead, use some gauze or a clean cloth – apply pressure to the cut with this material. The pressure should be kept steady for a couple of minutes. You can add more gauze or cloth to the area should the first layer become covered in blood – when you do add more dressings, do not remove the initial layer. If possible, you should also try to lift the area of injury to a level above your heart, especially when the injury occurred on one of your arms or legs.
Once the bleeding has stopped, it is time to clean the cut. It is vital that you perform this step as it will help to reduce the risk of developing an infection afterward. Use soap and clean, warm water to clean the wound. It is vital to ensure that no residue of the soap is left behind in the wound, as this can cause irritation.
These are the basics to stopping bleeding and treating a cut or wound. After you have completed these particular steps, however, it is essential to ensure you proceed with the adequate steps to protect your wound. It is highly recommended to apply an antibiotic cream to the area that has been injured. This will provide a further reduction in your risk of developing an infection in the area. Additionally, you should use a bandage to cover the area after applying the antibiotic cream.
You should ensure you continue to remove the old bandage and apply a new one on a daily basis. Each time you replace the bandage, ensure you clean the wound and pat it dry before you apply a new bandage. Always ensure that you wash your hands before and after you work with the wound – and continue replacing the bandages every day until the wound has gotten to the point of healing where bleeding does not occur anymore, and the wound has closed.
What To Do When The Wound Is More Serious?
When a person suffers a more significant injury that causes excessive bleeding, medical attention is required, but there are some steps that can be taken in order to reduce the bleeding on the spot and reduce their risk of bleeding out- it should be noted that up to 33% of patients who are admitted to a hospital from a traumatic injury suffers from a coagulopathy, as presented by a report published on BioMed Central.
An individual suffering a severe traumatic injury should be treated with the use of a tourniquet, which can assist with restricting blood to the area of injury; thus reducing bleeding until further measures can be taken, such as surgery. Additionally, specific pharmaceutical interventions are also to be used in the case of traumatic injuries. Antifibrinolytic agents, such as Tranexamic Acid, are currently considered an effective approach to assist with reducing bleeding and have also been proven to improve the outcome in many patients who suffer a traumatic injury.
Know When To Seek Emergency Medical Attention
There are cases where a cut or wound may be in such a condition that it is not possible to treat the cut at home. In such a case, it may be necessary to seek medical services from an emergency room to avoid potential complications, which, in severe cases, may become life-threatening. It is recommended to start out by following the steps we provided above to at least try to reduce bleeding until you or the injured individual can reach an emergency room for further assistance. Pressure should be ideally put on the area of injury to suppress bleeding.
The following are all conditions that may require medical attention instead of an at-home treatment approach:
- If the wound bleeds severely.
- If the wound continues to bleed even after pressure has been applied to the area for at least 10 minutes.
- If blood is spurting from the wound, then emergency medical attention is needed as soon as possible.
- It is also recommended to seek treatment from an emergency room if the cut leads to an open wound and if the injury is located on the chest area or the stomach area.
- If internal bleeding is suspected, it is vital to seek attention from an emergency services room.
In addition to these particular circumstances that may call for medical attention, it is also important to note that a doctor should be contacted should signs of an infection occur. Signs of an infection in the wound may include redness and tenderness, as well as a thick discharge in some cases. A fever may also be a sign of infection.
Cuts are most often not serious, usually causing some bleeding that subsides relatively quickly. In some cases, however, complications may occur, especially when you are not equipped with the right skills to stop the bleeding, clean the wound and avoid infection. In this post, we shared some vital steps that you should take to assist with stopping a cut or wound from bleeding, and we provided more details on when you should choose to contact emergency medical services or visit the emergency department in order to receive the adequate treatment.