Puncture Wound

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Puncture Wound (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

A puncture wound is a hole in the skin made by a sharp, pointed object.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • A puncture wound may be more serious than it looks. Blood vessels, nerves, bones, and other tissues under the skin may be damaged. The wound may become infected when germs get into it. Infection often occurs when the object that caused the wound carries germs or pushes dirt into the tissues. If the wound becomes infected, it may have pus in it. The area around the wound may be red and feel warm when touched. Wound treatment may be very painful.

  • Without treatment, a puncture wound may lead to more serious problems. Foreign objects left inside the wound may cause severe swelling, infection, and toxic reactions. Infection may spread to other parts of your body and may become life-threatening. You are at a higher risk for problems if you have diabetes or a decreased ability to fight infection.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics help fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling, pain, and fever.

  • A Td vaccine is a booster shot used to help prevent diphtheria and tetanus. The Td booster may be given to adolescents and adults every 10 years or for certain wounds and injuries.

Tests:

  • Blood tests may be done to check your wound for infection.

  • X-rays may be done to look for broken bones or other injuries around your wound. They may also be used to check for foreign objects such as dirt or metal.

  • A CT or MRI scan may be used to take pictures of the bones and tissues in your wound area. Caregivers use these pictures to look for objects left in the wound or near the bones. You may be given dye to help the bones and tissues show up better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal in or on your body.

  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your organs and tissues on a monitor.

  • A bone scan is a test that may be done to look for broken bones or infections. A radioactive liquid, called a tracer, is given through an IV. The tracer collects in your bones so problems show up better on the monitor.

Treatment:

  • Cleansing may be done by rinsing the wound with sterile water. Germ-killing solutions may also be used. Your caregiver may cut open a part of the affected area to clean it better.

  • Debridement is surgery to clean and remove objects, dirt, or dead skin and tissues from the wound area. Your caregivers may also drain the wound to clean out pus.

  • Surgery may be needed if your wound is deep and blood vessels, bones, or nerves need to be repaired. Your wound may be left open until it heals, or it may be closed right away with stitches.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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