Acute Wound Care
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
An acute wound is an injury that causes a break in the skin.
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return to have your stitches or staples removed, wound checked, or bandage changed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Keep the bandage clean and dry. Do not remove the bandage over your wound unless your primary healthcare provider says it is okay.
- Wash your hands before and after you take care of your wound to prevent infection.
- Clean the wound as directed. If you cannot reach the wound, have someone help you.
- If you have packing, make sure all the gauze used to pack the wound is taken out and replaced as directed. Keep track of how many gauze dressings are placed inside your wound.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have muscle, joint, or body aches, sweating, or a fever.
- You have more swelling, redness, or bleeding in your wound.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or you have a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have pus or a foul odor coming from the wound.
- You have sudden trouble breathing or chest pain.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.