Saturday 21 May 2016



A puncture wound ( also known as stab wound) is caused when a pointed object or weapon is driven through the skin with visible depth and significant dimension. Objects that could cause punture wounds includes; knife, dagger, nail, pointed screw drives, scissors, a needle, spear etc.

A puncture wound often times do not cause excessive bleeding (except if the puncture object goes deep enough  to cut through an artery), but it can be dangerous enough to warrant quick first aid treatment and a vsit to see your doctor.

Puncture wounds can happen at home, in the office at work and very often at construction buildings and work sites.

When pucnture wounds occur, the following firstaid treatment and approach will prove beneficial.

1.  Be Ready Before Hand

It is good practice to always be ready for emergency situations at work, at home and even during recreation and play. To be ready, prepare and keep a properly stocked First Aid Kit or Box at home, at work and even in your car. The first aid kit must be properly stocked and maintained as such, so that during an emergency you don't panick. You must also be familiar with the contents of the firstaid kit you have and  how to use them for different, emergency scenarios e.g Puncture and stab wounds.

If you do not have a fully stocked first aid kit or box click here, if you have one but do not understand or know how to use the individual contents properly you'll need help with this before hand, click here


2.  Wash You Hands First.

Before you start adminstering care to a puncture wound, wash your hand first (and do so quickly too). Hand washing with soap and water prevents introducing bacterial infection to the wound.

3.  If Possible, Remove The Puncture Object.

If the object that caused the puncture wound is small, removable and still embedded in the skin, do remove the puncture object with care (for very small embedded objects with ends sticking out, you can use tweezers to help remove them easily). If the object is big and deeply embedded into the skin or body, do not remove, get medical help immediately.

If punture wound is to the eye, do not attempt to remove object from the eye.

4.  Apply Pressure To Stop Bleeding.

To stop bleeding, apply direct pressure using a sterile gauze, creppe bandage or even clean cloth (You should have this in your first aid box). It is also good practise to wear gloves (Latex or nylon) before having direct contact with blood. Apply this pressure until you notice bleeding has stopped.

If punture wound is to the eye, do not attempt to apply pressure to eyeball. Maintain stability to the eye without putting pressure on the eyeball. One way to do this is by securing the bottom of a paper cup over the eye. Seek prompt medical care immediately.

5.  Clean The Wound

Rinse the wound with clean, clear water. Do this for a few minutes. Use soap and water to clean the area surrounding the wound. If you have debris around the skin, remove them with tweezers.

If punture wound is to the eye, do not attempt to wash the eye. 

6.  Apply An Antibiotic

After cleaning up, apply a thin layer of antibiotic cream or ointment on the surface of the wound.

7.  Protect The Wound

Cover the wound with sterile guaze bandage to protect the wound from dirt and further abrasion.

8.  Give Painkillers

Provide quick relief from associated pain with paracetamol tablets or ibuprofen. If the area around the wound is swollen, administering ibuprofen would be preferable so that it reduces the inflammatory swelling. If the injured person has a history of asthma or stomach ulcer (ask him or her before administering Ibuprofen) avoid giving ibuprofen, stick to paracetamol instead.

9.  Get Anti-Tetanus Shot

Anti - tetanus shot is important for every puncture wound. If the injured person has not recieved any anti-tetanus vaccine within 5 years it becomes even more imperative to get one right away after injury. Visit the hospital to get evaluated for anti-tetanus vaccine and get a shot promply.

10.  Look Out For Infections

Increasing pain, presence of pus, persistent redness at sight of injury, fluid drainage and feeling of warmth to injured area are all signs of bacterial activity and infection. Visit the hospital for prompt medical attention.

It is good practise to get your firstaid box contents evaluated according to percieved risks and office or home needs periodically. Updates on firstaider services is also necessary to ensure correct use of the firstaid kit as well as proper administration of first aid on the injured.

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