First Aid Treatment of Puncture Wounds

First Aid Treatment of Puncture Wounds

The Nature of Puncture Wounds
An infected puncture wound to the bottom of the forefoot.
An infected puncture wound to the bottom of the forefoot.1

A puncture wound is caused by an object piercing the skin and creating a small hole. Some punctures are just on the surface of the skin, while others can be very deep, depending on the source and cause. Puncture wounds are normally caused by accidents, and do not usually result in excessive bleeding. These types of wounds usually close by themselves fairly quickly, without any intervention. Nevertheless, immediate first aid treatment is needed for these types of wounds to avoid infection in some cases. If not treated properly, puncture wounds may result in infection causing redness, swelling, pus, or watery discharge from the wound.

The first aid procedures presented here are meant to cover only non-life threatening wounds. For deep, organ-penetrating wounds associated with guns, large knives, or similar objects, the services of an emergency health care provider should be sought immediately.

First Aid for Puncture Wounds
First aid kit for a trip to rural Nicaragua.
First aid kit for a trip to rural Nicaragua.2

The ordinary household first aid kit containing bandages, gauzes, swabs, antibiotic ointments, pain killers, and other medical supplies should be sufficient to treat puncture wounds and to manage the bleeding. First aid procedure for treating puncture wounds consist of allowing the wound to bleed freely until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, applying gentle pressure with a clean wound bandage or cloth may be tried. Another first aid procedure in treating puncture wounds is to thoroughly clean the wound with water, and in cases where dirt or debris is involved, mild soap. First aid treatment for protecting puncture wounds would also involve applying a thin layer of antibiotic ointment with a clean swab or gauze.

Information on how to treat and care for puncture wounds is readily and freely available from various sources, including online. Equipment and supplies such as first aid kits are also easily available. These are all important in providing immediate treatment and subsequent healing of puncture wounds.

Emotional First Aid

While applying the procedures mentioned above, it is also important for the patient to remain calm and to maintain a positive attitude all through out. “Let not your hearts be troubled.a Jesus reassured his bewildered disciples on the eve of his crucifixion. In the same way, the person applying first aid should constantly reassure the patient.

Spiritual First Aid

But apart from the equipment, supplies, procedures, and reassurances, another important aspect that must be practiced in the first aid treatment of puncture wounds, in fact of all type s of cuts and injuries to the body, is the health and well-being of the spirit. The old proverb “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity”b underscores the importance of a healthy spirit in mending an injured body. The spiritual discipline of prayer should be exercised, not only by the one administering first aid, but also by the patient. This is, of course, to draw strength and healing from God, and to submit to his sovereignty and will, as well. This spiritual device should always be a part of any spiritual first aid kit.

Conclusion

In this post, information on the first aid treatment and care of puncture wounds are discussed. A holistic approach is presented, consisting of medical procedures, equipment and supplies; emotional first aid; and spiritual first aid.

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aThe Bible, John 14:1

bThe Bible, Proverbs 18:14

1Photograph by James Heilman, MD

2Photograph by Mat Honan, 30 December 2007

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