martes, 11 de noviembre de 2008

Current Management of Acute Cutaneous Wounds - patient information

This article covers the treatment of skin wounds. These have several causes, and most can be initially handled by the patient him/herself on site, resorting to simples measures, even though medical care may normally be required later on.

Many injuries can be appropriately treated by your family doctor, even though he/she may have to send you to a hospital doctor should you require more specialised care.

The first type of wound is called an “abrasion”, which is more or less a superficial, non-open wound, and is common following, for example, an accident. They normally just require being cleaned with water, but you should nevertheless go see a doctor, as small particles from the pavement may accummulate under the skin and need to be removed under anaesthesia by a doctor.

The second type of wound is called “laceration”, and is basically a long open wound. They are common in elderly patients and those taking steroids. If you notice a large open wound, then go see a doctor, as the wound needs to be closed using special tape or special dressings that are only available in the health care centre.

If you are bitten by either a dog or a cat, you may have a laceration, for which you should as soon as possible rinse it intensively under water. It is important to go see a doctor, as you are likely to require minor surgery to close the wound. This is also the case if you suffer an injury in a fingernail, where blood accummulates under the nail.

As far as burns, the third type of wound, are concerned, they vary in severity according to how deep they penetrated in the skin. Your family doctor is qualified to handle most of them, even though he may have to send you to a hospital doctor if the injury is more severe.

Finally, I will make some considerations about burns. Most burns do not have serious consequences, such as those that appear after excessive sun exposure at the beach. They take just a few days to heal. More serious wounds may take several weeks to heal, though.

If you get burned, make sure you immerse the injury with cold tap water within 30 minutes from sustaining the burn until the pain is relieved. Later on, you can probably apply an OTC painkiller or aloe vera cream on the injury. The burn may inclusively require a dressing and a locally applied antibiotic, but for that purpose you should go to your primary health centre, to be seen by a nurse and/or a doctor.

You should immediately rinse the injury with water if it is caused by chemical products, but if the burn is caused by certain metals or from hydrofluoric acid, you should immediately go see your doctor or go to the hospital, because you may require additional treatment.

Burns caused by exposure to cold more commonly affect your fingers, toes, nose and ears. In this situation, you should instead rinse the injury warm water. In this situation, do not hesitate to go see a doctor, as are likely to require strong pain medication that you can’t obtain without a medical prescription, as well as a splint.

1 comentario:

Rafa C dijo...

Tiago! Míticu.No paras!¿Cuando me organizas ese año de rotación contigo?