Most minor cuts can be treated at home but what should you do if the cut is more severe?
Large wounds or severe bleeding need immediate medical attention as blood loss can lead to falling blood pressure and shock.Get help immediately if:
- the wound is large or deep and bleeding cannot be controlled after 10 minutes of applying pressure.
- the person has lost of lot blood, is drowsy or pale.
- there is something stuck in the wound
Wash small cuts with soap and water to make sure that you have removed all dirt. Try to control the bleeding by direct pressure. Cover the wound with sterile gauze and adhesive tape. Plasters can also be used to prevent infection. Don’t use cotton wool. Change the dressings daily.Severe bleeding
For deeper cuts or severe bleeding, apply direct pressure onto the wound with a clean towel or gauze. If blood soaks through the gauze, don’t remove it. Apply another gauze on top. If it is a gaping wound, hold the edges of the wound together.
Avoid using an antibiotic ointment until after a health professional has examined the cut. Bandage sterile dressing firmly but not too tightly as this could cut off the blood supply. Check the pulse below the wound. If you cannot feel it, loosen the bandage but don’t remove the dressing. Elevate the injured limb above chest level.
If bleeding doesn’t stop with pressure onto the wound, apply pressure to pressure points.Foreign objects
If there is a foreign object in the wound, don’t attempt to remove it. Apply pressure around the wound. Build padding around the object to the same height as the object and secure it with a bandage.Call a doctor if:
- the cut is more than 0,6 cm deep; stitches may be needed
- there is dirt in the wound that cannot be removed
- the wound is on the face or neck
- the wound has been contaminated with dirt or gravel; a tetanus injection may be necessary
- there is any sign of infection, such as red streaks extending from the wound
- Don’t allow children to play with sharp objects.
- Teach children how to handle scissors properly.
- Don’t run with a sharp object in your hand.
- Check toys and playground equipment for sharp edges.