Thursday, August 06, 2009

Health Tips for August 6

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.

Health Tip: Removing a Splinter

A splinter may be an annoying inconvenience at first, but if it isn't removed, soreness and infection can start.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers the advice on removing a splinter:

  • Before you begin, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
  • With a clean pair of tweezers, grab the end of the splinter, and gently try to pull it out at the same angle at which it entered the skin.
  • For a hard-to-reach splinter that isn't too deeply imbedded, gently remove the skin over the splinter using a safety pin or a needle that has been sterilized in rubbing alcohol or a flame. Finish removing the splinter with the tweezers.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands again, and gently pat the area dry (avoid rubbing the area). Then apply antibiotic ointment.
  • If the area is likely to get dirty, put a bandage over it. Otherwise, it's best to leave it uncovered.

Any splinter that is deep into the skin, near the eye, or inflamed or draining pus should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.

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