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Accidents are a part of life. Sometimes it’s difficult to know if a wound can wait to be treated or if it’s an urgent issue.
Cuts and Scrapes
Some cuts and scrapes are minor, requiring only some light pressure to stop the bleeding, adequate cleaning and a bandage to protect it while it heals. However, if the cut is deep, or continues to bleed with applied pressure, have it seen to right away. If a deep cut goes more than 24 hours without treatment, it may be impossible to get stitches to close the wound, for fear of infection. If you can’t make it in right away, try to rinse the wound to remove debris and keep the area moist until you can see a doctor.
Most animal bites do not need emergency treatment. However, all bites should be thoroughly cleaned and receive medical evaluation as soon as possible. An animal bite becomes an emergency in the case of:
- A deep puncture wound
- A wound in which the flesh is torn
- Excessive bleeding
- Possible broken bones
Even minor bites should be evaluated – especially in the case of a bite from an unknown animal, which may carry rabies or other diseases.
Falls are among the most common of accidents in the United States. It becomes an urgent situation when the injury involves the head or if the injured body part bruises and/or swells rapidly and the victim cannot use the injured body part. An unsteady gait and falling can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Don’t panic. Try to remain calm as you are assessing the severity of a wound. Wounds to the face or head will almost always appear to bleed a lot, because the skin over the face and head is densely packed with blood vessels. First, clean up as much of the blood as you can, then check for deep wounds or excessive bleeding.
Keep a comprehensive first aid kit in your home and a smaller kit in each car. You can buy them ready-made or, build your own:
|* Be sure to rotate medications to ensure that they do not expire.|
The above is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but an overview of situations that may call for medical intervention. If you are still undecided, call us.