|The first step in reconstruction if there is an open wound
is wound care.
Open Wound Care
Caring for an open wound at
home can be simple if you prepare your supplies ahead of time and if you
know what to expect.
Before removing your
old dressings, lay the necessary supplies on a counter top or your bed.
This may include bacitracin, gauze sponges, gauze wrap, tape and
saline as directed by the doctor. Once
you have everything prepared remove and discard the old dressing.
Clean the wound as directed by the doctor.
Soap and water in the sink, or shower, may be all that is
necessary, though sometimes saline is used.
It is common to have a small amount of oozing or bleeding after
cleaning the wound or removing a dry dressing.
A small rim of redness and inflammation is often present around the
edges of an open wound, particularly when the wound has been open for a
long time and for wounds located on the legs and feet.
This is not infection.
If the wound is small and
clean, bacitracin and a bandaid may suffice. If the wound is large or
needs tidying then a "wet-to-dry" dressing may be prescribed.
Moisten a gauze sponge with saline and wring out the excess.
Apply the moistened gauze to the wound and cover with a dry gauze
sponge. Tape will hold the dressing in place, however a gauze wrap is
easier around the arm or leg. When
it is time to remove the dressing it will be dry and stuck to the wound.
Do not wet the dressing as its cleaning action occurs by peeling it
off the wound. If the gauze
is particularly stuck or painful to remove, it may be wet or allowed to
fall off in the shower.
Call the doctor for:
a new fever higher than 101
bleeding that does not stop
minutes of compression
redness around the wound that is
getting larger or more painful
pus or foul-smelling drainage.