If you are involved in a car accident, or any other type of accident for that matter, you may receive an injury that is classified as an open wound. Most people believe that an open wound is simply a cut, but there are actually five different types of injuries that are considered open wounds by medical professionals.
The seriousness of wounds, and their care, will depend on the classification. A minor scrape is typically something that can be taken care of at home. A puncture or avulsion may be something that needs serious medical attention. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Abrasion: This is when the skin rubs against something hard or rough and changes color or texture. Many people have received a rug burn at one time in their lives. This is an example of an abrasion. They don’t tend to bleed, but they do need to be cleaned to prevent infection.
2. Incision: An incision is made by a very sharp object. They tend to bleed quickly and excessively. Deep incisions can damage underlying tissues.
3. Laceration: A laceration is the tearing or deep cutting of the skin. Lacerations are most often caused by tools, machinery and knives. The wound will bleed extensively and rapidly.
4. Puncture: This is a small hole made in the skin. Punctures may or may not bleed a lot. Bullets, nails, needles and even sticks can cause puncture wounds. These injuries can be shallow or deep, depending on the accident. A person with a puncture wound should seek medical attention as a tetanus shot may be necessary depending on the cause of the wound.
5. Avulsion: An avulsion is a tearing away of skin or tissue. These typically occur in traumatic accidents. Gunshots, explosions and body-crushing accidents can cause avulsions. They bleed quickly and heavily.
The way a wound is treated depends on how serious it is. Most minor wounds can be treated at home with some type of first-aid procedure. If you have an abrasion or a minor laceration, wash the affected area with soap and warm water. If there is bleeding, apply pressure and elevate the wound.
A sterile dressing can be used to cover the wound. If a person experiences discomfort, an over-the-counter pain reliever can be taken. Ice can help with swelling or bruising.
While many open wounds can be treated at home, there are those that require medical intervention. If a wound is deeper than 1/2 inch, will not stop bleeding when direct pressure is applied or the wound is the result of a serious accident, home care is not advised.
Just like taking care of a wound at home, a doctor may use different options for treating a wound depending on its severity. The first step is typically cleaning the wound, followed by applying a numbing agent. The wound may be closed with stitches, staples or glue. If the wound is a puncture, a doctor may administer a tetanus shot.
Once your wound has been medically treated, the doctor may provide a prescription for an antibiotic or pain reliever. In the most serious cases, surgery may be called for. If a body part is partially or completely severed, immediate surgery is often required. When being discharged from the hospital, a victim should pay close attention to any home-care instructions that are given. Proper care of the wound will impact the way it heals.
Like with any injury, there are complications that may arise from sustaining an open wound, even if that wound is treated properly. complications include pain, continuous bleeding and swelling. Infection is one of the most common complications. See a doctor if you notice:
All of these things are signs of an infection that shouldn’t be ignored. You may feel as though these things are a normal part of sustaining an open wound, but they are not. Medical intervention is necessary to stop the progression of an infection.
If you have sustained an open wound as the result of a car accident in West Palm Beach, you may have the legal right to compensation for your medical bills. Call our team of experienced personal injury attorneys to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.
You should not have to suffer financial difficulty due to unexpected medical bills. We can represent you in court and fight for your right to compensation for your damages. You may be legally entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, loss of enjoyment and more. Call today.