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Health Tip: Treating a Superficial Cut

-- Even minor cuts and scrapes should be treated to avoid infection.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests how to care for a superficial wound that's bleeding:

  • Wash your hands, to prevent the possibility of spreading infectious germs.
  • Gently wash the wound with warm water and soap, then pat it dry.
  • Have the person lie down with the bleeding wound raised a bit.
  • With a sterile bandage or clean rag, apply gentle pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Once bleeding has stopped, apply a sterile dressing.
  • Don't remove a dressing that is bleeding through; instead place another dressing on top of it. Seek immediate medical attention if the bleeding doesn't stop.

Any cases of serious or severe bleeding, internal bleeding, or signs of shock shouldn't be treated at home. Seek immediate emergency care.

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Posted: August 2009