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First-Aid Manual: Treat a Gaping Wound

Here's how to stop the bleeding, close the wound, and prevent infection.
  • Because a gaping wound like this has a high risk of infection, proper first aid is essential. Note: For obvious reasons, this is a simulated injury.
  • Place absorbent gauze on the wound and apply direct pressure on top to stop the bleeding. Elevate the wound slightly above the heart.
  • When bleeding stops, clean the wound with a high-pressure stream of water from an irrigation syringe, hydration bladder, or plastic bag with a needle hole poked in it.
  • Gently press the edges of the wound together and hold them in place with wound closure strips. In a pinch, you can close a wound with thin strips of duct tape.
  • Apply a layer of antibiotic ointment to a sterile dressing.
  • Put the dressing over the wound, making sure to cover it completely, and tape it in place. Evacuate the patient to a doctor.
Because a gaping wound like this has a high risk of infection, proper first aid is essential. Note: For obvious reasons, this is a simulated injury.
Image 1 of 6

Because a gaping wound like this has a high risk of infection, proper first aid is essential. Note: For obvious reasons, this is a simulated injury.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

Hey you forgot the latex or nitrile gloves for the care giver; in this day and age you touch no ones blood / body fluids but your own without gloves on.
— Phil

Cleaning the wound after stopping the bleeding will cause the wound to just start bleeding all over again (breaks up the clots you just formed). A rinse first would be best. Of course, if it is life threatening, stopping the bleeding is a priority (and cleaning is NOT).
— Al

direct pressure and bind tight to stop bleeding
then evac out to road and stitches and disinfectants
— fgcfire8

+1 on the nitrile gloves- It's like showing mountain bikers without helmets.

— steve

Also do not remove the bandage- if it soaks through with blood- reinforce it with another bandage.
— steve

The gloves #1!!,The bleeding may wash a lot of contaminets out, I wouldnt wash it let the ER debride,Never remove blody bandage wrap over it, removing will tear away clotting,dont use Tourniquet unless yer missing parts, use pressure points, dont forget treating for shock. Dont like yer dressing, it wont stay, wrap with roller gauze.
— Mark (paramedic)

I would twist the duct tape, as in butterfly, to keep it very narrow over the cut
— Richcurran

Closing a contaminated wound in the back country is a recipe for an infection. NO one in the medical field advocates any type of wound closure in the field.
— Jim physician assistant

I recently experienced having to deal with a small but very open wound on my finger... fat cells and all. And what worked exceedingly well for me was to clean it out by sucking/spitting, rinsing with cold water in case I missed anything, slight pressure to stop bleeding, gently packing cayenne pepper in it and covering with dressing/tape.

This is not the first time I've tested the limits of cayenne pepper. And unfortunately it won't be the last, I'm sure. It functions as a sterilizer, coagulant, insta-scab as it dries but still allows the wound to heal properly (daily cleaning, reapplying the cayenne (until day comes when it's obviously unnecessary to do so), new dressing) and has greatly aided in next-to-invisible scars.

And when everyone was confident I would need stitches a day or two post-injury, I ended up not only not needing them but barely being able to see the injury less than 4 weeks later.

Cheers... and may none of you ever have to try this.
— Christopher

I recently experienced having to deal with a small but very open wound on my finger... fat cells and all. And what worked exceedingly well for me was to clean it out by sucking/spitting, rinsing with cold water in case I missed anything, slight pressure to stop bleeding, gently packing cayenne pepper in it and covering with dressing/tape.

This is not the first time I've tested the limits of cayenne pepper. And unfortunately it won't be the last, I'm sure. It functions as a sterilizer, coagulant, insta-scab as it dries but still allows the wound to heal properly (daily cleaning, reapplying the cayenne (until day comes when it's obviously unnecessary to do so), new dressing) and has greatly aided in next-to-invisible scars.

And when everyone was confident I would need stitches a day or two post-injury, I ended up not only not needing them but barely being able to see the injury less than 4 weeks later.

Cheers... and may none of you ever have to try this.
— Christopher


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