Cuts

INTRODUCTION

Most people get injured during everyday activities. Most common types of injuries are cuts and abrasions and it may happen while doing housework, gardening, or when operating machinery. Children often get cut during play and sports activities, or from falls while riding wheeled toys, such as bikes, scooters, or skateboards.

Cuts are skin wounds resulted from separation of the skin which are usually caused by a sharp object like a knife or a piece of glass.

Most cuts are minor and home treatment is usually all that is needed.

 

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

Cuts cause the following symptoms:

  • bleeding
  • pain
  • redness
  • swelling

 

COMPLICATIONS

Infection

Cuts may get infected and signs of infection include:

  • increasing pain in the wound
  • redness spreading from the cut
  • swelling of the affected area
  • pus forming in and around the affected area
  • feeling generally unwell
  • fever
  • swollen of nearby glands (lymph nodes)
     

FIRST AIDS OF CUTS

Simple cuts

Simple cuts are superficial, clean and the bleeding is minimal. Take the following steps to care for simple cuts

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and then wash the wound under running water.
  • For wounds that are bleeding apply direct pressure with a sterile cloth or bandage and elevate the wound.
  • You may apply antibiotic cream it is available.
  • Dress the wound with a sterile gauze preferably the non stick type, to protect the wound from infection
  • Keep the area around the wound clean and change any dirty dressings promptly.
  • Seek medical treatment if the wound isn’t healing or you notice any redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth or swelling as these are signs of infection.

See a doctor IMMEDIATELY:

  • If cuts still bleed after 5 minutes of applying pressure
  • If there is something embedded in the cut
  • If the cut is on the mouth, face, hand or genitals.

Dirty wounds

Dirty wounds are at risk of infections. If you are not able to clean the wound properly, cover the wound with a sterile bandage and seek medical attention immediately

Deeper Cuts

If you sustained deeper cuts which expose the underlying fatty tissue, muscle, tendon or bone, just cover the wound with a clean bandage and seek medical attention immediately

  • Never wash deep cuts because it may increase bleeding

Don’t remove blood-stained dressings from deep cuts as this may restart bleeding. Instead, reinforce the old dressings by putting additional dressing on top until the bleeding stops.

 

REHABILITATION / PROGNOSIS

Without the complication of infection, most cuts heal well with time. Depending on the depth and size of the cut, it may or may not leave a visible scar.

 

REFERENCES

John Murtagh, General Practice, Third Edition, page 1340-1353

Last Reviewed : 11 June 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Norizzati Bukhary bt. Ismail Bukhary
Accreditor : Dr. Rosnah bte. Ramly