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Before dressing simple wounds, such as a small cut on the finger, it is important to wash your hands and, if possible, put on clean gloves to avoid contaminating the wound.
In other more complicated types of wounds, such as burns or bedsores, other care must be taken and, in some of these cases, it may even be necessary to apply the dressing at the hospital or he alth center, to avoid complications such as infections and tissue death.
Secure with a tape
Main types of dressings
Generally, to make the dressing it is important to have at home some materials such as saline solution, povidone iodine, band-aid and bandages, for example. Here's what a first aid kit should contain.
1. Simple dressing for cuts
This way, to make a simple dressing of a cut, quickly and correctly:
- Wash the wound with cold running water and neutral soap or saline solution;
- Dry the wound with dry gauze or clean cloth;
- Cover the wound with dry gauze and secure it with a tape, band-aid or ready-made bandage, which is sold in pharmacies.
If the wound is large or very dirty, after washing it is advisable to apply an antiseptic product, such as povidone-iodine, for example. However, this type of substance should only be used until a crust forms, since after that moment the wound is closed and there is no risk of developing bacteria.
Antiseptic products should not be the first choice to clean simple wounds, preference should be given to water or saline solution. However, this type of product, such as Merthiolate or Povidine, may be indicated when there is a high risk of the wound becoming infected.
The dressing must be changed, at most, within 48 hours, whenever it is dirty or as instructed by a nurse.
Wash the wound
In serious cases, such as deep cuts or when the wound bleeds a lot, the same thing should be done, however, it is recommended to go immediately to the emergency room or hospital, as the person needs to be evaluated by the doctor, may even need to take stitches or put staples.
2. Dressing for bedsores
The dressing for bed sores should always be done by a nurse, but if the dressing comes off at night or gets wet during the bath, you should:
- Wash the wound with cold tap water or saline solution, not touching the wound with your hands;
- Dry the wound with dry gauze without pressing or scraping;
- Cover the wound with another dry gauze and secure the gauze with a tape;
- Positioning the person on the bed without pressing the eschar;
Call the nurse and let them know that the bed sore dressing has come off.
Dressing sores should always be made with gauze and sterile dressings to prevent infections, as it is a very sensitive wound.
It is very important that the dressing is redone by a nurse, because, in most cases, the dressing also includes the use of ointments or materials that help healing, in addition to gauze or tape. One example is collagenase ointment, which helps remove dead tissue, allowing new tissue to grow in a he althy way.
See examples of the main ointments used in the treatment of bedsores.
3. Burn dressing
Cover with gauze
When a person burns with hot water, frying oil or a stove flame, for example, the skin becomes red and painful, and a bandage may be necessary. So you should:
- By running cold water for more than 5 minutes to cool the wound;
- Apply a moisturizing cream with a refreshing and calming effect, such as Nebacetin or Caladryl, or a cortisone-based cream, such as Diprogenta or Dermazine, which you can buy at the pharmacy;
- Cover with gauze clean the burn and secure with a tape.
If the burn has blisters and the pain is very strong, go to the emergency room, as you may need to take painkillers by vein such as Tramadol, for example, to relieve the pain. Learn more about this type of dressing.
Check out in this video how to take care of each degree of burn:
When to go to the doctor
Most of the wounds that happen at home can be treated without going to the hospital, however if the wound takes a long time to start healing or if there are signs of infection such as severe pain, intense redness, swelling, pus or fever above 38º C, it is recommended to go to the emergency room to evaluate the wound and start the appropriate treatment.
In addition, wounds with a higher risk of infection, such as those caused by animal bites or objects with rust, for example, should always be evaluated by a doctor or nurse.