It’s incredibly important that you know how to dress a wound. This can be the difference between life and death – literally. Whether the wound is on your own body or someone else’s this basic first aid knowledge can be very helpful when you’re out in the wilderness. Here are the five steps required when dealing with any type of open wound. Follow them and your odds of surviving will increase quite a bit.
1) Follow Basic Hygiene Protocols
The very first step is to put on sanitary plastic or rubber gloves before you examine the wound. (These should be in your first aid kit.) Of course, if the wound is on your own body and you know that you’re in general good health, then you can skip this step – as long as your hands are clean. If you’ve been out in the woods, it’s likely that your hands are harboring a few germs that you don’t want to introduce to any open cuts and lacerations. Once your gloves are in place, you can move on to the next step.
2) Examine the Wound Closely
If you’re dealing with a basic cut or scrape, then you don’t really have much to worry about. You can treat it while out in the woods without many worries, as long as your first aid kit has the right materials. However, if the wound is very deep and blood is either gushing or squirting, then you’ll have to call 911 right away or do whatever you need to in order to get to a medical facility. This is particularly true if the wound is on the head or neck, or even the trunk of the body. If it’s a very deep cut that’s located on the thigh or above the elbow, then the possibility of it hitting an artery is a major concern. Do what you can to contain the bleeding (including creating a tourniquet) and then seek medical care immediately.
The Lost Book of Remedies…All Medicinal Plants and Lost Cures of North America — See Them Here>>>
3) Clean the Wound
However, if the wound is a minor cut or scrape, then the next step is to clean it. Find a source of running water and wash around the area with soap, if you have some. If not, then your first aid kit should have cleansing wipes and alcohol packets. These will work. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide. If you see any particles of debris in the wound, remove them with tweezers. It’s ideal that the scrape or cut is as clean as possible in order to prevent infection.
4) Cover It with a Bandage
Once the wound is clean, it’s time to decide whether or not it needs to be covered. If you think that it will come in repeated contact with dirt, clothing, or anything that can irritate it, then apply a bandage to it or wrap some gauze around that section of your body and secure it with medical tape. Lacerations should have their edges pulled together and held into place with a butterfly-style bandage. Use your best judgment when choosing a bandage or some other method to cover the wound.
5) Keep an Eye Out For Deep Lacerations and Pus
If the laceration or cut seems to be particularly deep, then use a butterfly-style bandage and some gauze to try to control the bleeding. Even if this works and the wound starts to clot, you should still see a medical professional as soon as possible, especially if you aren’t sure what cut you and you haven’t had a tetanus shot in less than ten years. If you begin to see pus draining from the wound, then infection has set in. Again, you’ll need to see a medical professional.