At-Home and Professional Treatment of Open Wounds

Open Wounds pic

Open Wounds

In 2012, Seana Rutherford received her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Akron and went on to earn a master’s degree in nursing from Ursuline College in 2015. Since then, she has served as a certified nurse practitioner at Premier Physicians in Fairview Park, Ohio. In addition to general primary and preventative care, Seana Rutherford is a certified wound specialist experienced in providing wound care.

Most people will probably experience an open wound at least once during their lifetimes. Open wounds can range from superficial abrasions, which are minor scrapes to the top layer of the skin, to the most severe avulsions, which involve chunks of skin and tissue being torn away from the body. Incisions, punctures, and lacerations also fall within the two extremes and may generally be distinguished by the shape, depth, and cause of the wound.

Abrasions and minor wounds can usually be treated without consulting a professional. After washing and disinfecting the wound, pressure and elevation should be used to help control bleeding. If necessary, the wound should be wrapped in a sterile bandage and kept dry.

Other wounds may require more professional treatment. A specialist should be consulted if the wound is more than half an inch deep, if the wound bleeds for more than 20 minutes or the bleeding does not stop when pressure is applied, or if the wound results from a severe accident. A specialist should also be consulted if the wound shows signs of infection, such as thick pus, a foul odor, or increased drainage.

Wound care specialists can provide focused treatment to help heal wounds and prevent infection. Through debridement, specialists remove necrotic tissue, promoting the creation of healthy tissue and reducing the risk of infection. Additional care for nonhealing wounds may include hyperbaric oxygen treatments, specialized dressings, topical agents, and medicine to facilitate the healing process.