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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A puncture wound is a hole in the skin made by a sharp, pointed object.
Call 911 if:
- You have trouble swallowing and your jaw and neck are stiff.
- You have trouble talking, walking, or breathing.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe pain.
- You have new drainage or a bad odor coming from the wound.
- You have numbness or tingling in the area of your wound.
- Your wound does not stop bleeding, even after you apply pressure.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have more swelling, redness, or pain.
- You have problems moving the injured part or have tender lumps in your groin or armpits.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your 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 healthcare provider in 2 to 3 days:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Keep your wound clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Manage your symptoms:
- Rest your injured area as much as possible. If the puncture wound is in your leg or foot, use crutches for 2 to 3 days as directed. This will help keep the weight off your injured leg or foot as it heals.
- Elevate your injured area above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your injured area on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
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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.