First Aid for Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds
Most minor cuts and scrapes won’t
require a trip to the emergency room. But it’s still important to stop the bleeding and clean the wound properly to prevent infection. This is
particularly important if you are in an emergency situation or outdoors, where
you may not have as many opportunities to wash your hands. If you suffer
a minor cut or scrape, follow these first aid instructions:
Kit Items You’ll Need:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Adhesive bandages
- Roller bandages
- Sanitary Water
- Butterfly bandages
1. Stop the bleeding. Most cuts will stop bleeding on their own, but if they do
not, hold pressure continuously on the wound for 20 to 30 minutes. If possible,
elevate the wound. Avoid checking to see if the wound has stopped bleeding, as
this can dislodge the clot and cause bleeding to resume. If blood is spurting
or continues to flow after about half an hour of continuous pressure, seek
2. Clean the wound. Using clear water, rinse the wound. Avoid getting
soap directly in the cut, as this will irritate the wound. Remove any debris or
dirt from the wound with sanitized tweezers. Carefully clean the area around
the wound using soap and water.
3. Apply antibiotic. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment or cream
onto the wound.
4. Dress the wound. Bandages will help keep the wound clean and free of
bacteria. Use an appropriate sized dressing or adhesive bandage.
5. Change the dressing regularly. If the dressing becomes wet or dirty,
change it for a clean one. Change the dressing or bandage at least once a day.
6. Watch for signs of infection. If the wound does not heal, or if you
notice increasing pain, drainage, warmth, swelling or redness, see a doctor.
7. Get stitches for deep wounds. For cuts that are deeper than 6
millimeters (a quarter of an inch), or if you see fat or muscle protruding, you
may need stitches to close the wound. Butterfly tape and adhesive strips may
help to close the wound temporarily, but you should still see a doctor if the
wound will not stay closed.
After treating a cut or scrape, you should monitor it carefully for signs of
infection. If your deep is particularly deep or dirty, you may also want to
consider getting a tetanus shot. Tetanus shots are meant to last for 10 years,
but your doctor may recommend a five year booster depending on the severity of
Treat puncture wounds similarly to cuts and scrapes. Although puncture wounds
may not bleed, they should still be cleaned, covered and carefully monitored
First Aid Instructions For Broken Bones