Cuts and grazes

Boy with plaster (bandaid). Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ed_aisela/
(Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ed_aisela/)

I had an interesting night on duty with the Red Cross this week at a large concert – the drummer threw his stick into the crowd at the end of their performance and hit someone smack in the middle of the forehead and created quite a decent wound for a drum stick.

There was a lot of blood, but also a lot of kudos for that lady. The band manager got involved. Free tickets and VIP passes were offered (not to me I might add – I just got blood on my shirt. Mind you when I asked her about her vision she called me dashing so I figured she was ok!).

That was the most interesting casualty of the night. The remainder of the night was filled with people who were fainting but no further blood loss to deal with.

So I thought I’d post about cuts as all this is fresh in my mind.

They are funny things – sometimes you can have cuts that hardly bleed. I put my hand through a table saw once (not recommended) and one of my memories of that event was the surprisingly small amount of blood loss.

Then, like my casualty at the concert, a small wound can look quite serious as there is blood everywhere.

One of my discoveries about the medical world is that they have to rename everything. You’ll discover this if you follow this blog as some of the names can’t be avoided. We can’t just call them cuts – we have fancy words like incised wound or laceration. If you want to learn more – read click here to read the blog post: fancy words for wounds.

(The rest of this post will cover minor cuts (that don’t have anything embedded in them). For cuts that are more severe cuts, or cuts with embedded objects – there will be a separate blog post.)

Dealing with Minor Cuts

  1. Generally – these are easy to control and if there is any bleeding – simply add some pressure and elevate the wound. Easy.
  2. Infection is your biggest risk usually with these things, so just make sure you clean the wound. My parents loved TCP, and boy did that sting (and stink). So, unless you want to inflict that stinging sensation on your child to enhance their life’s experience – rinsing it under the tap will do fine, and you can wash it with soap and water if needed.
  3. Make sure your hands are clean too to prevent infection, especially if you have been working on your car engine or pruning the petunias.
  4. Don’t forget that when you child is younger; plasters have special magical properties that don’t work on adults but do make children feel better. As we live in a day of health and safety extremes – you should ask other parents before putting plasters on their kids as some people are known to react to them.

Seek medical attention if:

  1. There is a special risk of infection
  2. The bleeding doesn’t stop

Oh – and in case you are wondering what I did for the injured person from the concert with the hole in the head caused by the flying drumstick –  I simply put a dressing on the wound with pressure to stop the bleeding. Used a bandage to hold it on and cleaned off some of the blood. I then took themto the First Aid room – where the wound was cleaned and dressed again. We advised they went to hospital to get a stitched up. Don’t know if they went though…

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