Wound Care Guidelines

These are examples of types of wounds which cause damage to skin. Skin is the body’s first line of defense against infection; thus if broken, germs can enter the body and an infection may develop.

First things first! First aid for cuts and scrapes

For Punctures - Puncture wounds may bleed little, however germs may have been carried deep inside. Bites, however small, should be assessed for infection potential, including rabies from certain animals. Contact your health care provider for all puncture wounds.

For Burns - First, stop the burn. For example, if contact with a hot liquid, then quickly remove clothing from the area of the hot liquid contact and flush with cool water. For sunburn, cover and do not re-expose to the sun. Use cold compresses for discomfort. See your health care provider if skin blisters, swells or oozes fluid.

Wounds requiring stitches - Any wound that gapes open or is longer than ½ inch should be evaluated as soon as possible or within six hours of injury. Infection may set in if care is delayed and suturing may not be possible. This may cause difficulty with healing, scarring and serious complications.

Call Dial-a-Nurse at 333-2700 for advice.


National Institute of Health
JAMA, October 26, 2005
2008 MayoClinic.com
2007 WebMD