Last Updated on Mar 25, 2011

 Overview

  • Puncture wounds are injuries caused by sharp objects
  • These wounds carry dirt and germs deep into the tissues 
  • Increases the risk of infection 
  • Most wounds are minor and may be treated at home 
  • Some punctures are made by a health professional for disease treatment 
  • Even if the wound is closed, puncture wounds require treatment

Risk Factors

  • Health professionals 
  • Drug Abusers 

Causes


Puncture wound can be caused by -
  • Nails 
  • Needles 
  • Teeth 
  • Objects like ice picks, bullets 
  • Animals, especially pets 

Symptoms
  • Pain 
  • Bleeding 
  • Bruising 
  • Swelling 
Treatment
  • Stop the bleeding applying gentle pressure 
  • Clean the wound 
  • Try to remove embedded debris carefully 
  • Soak wound in warm water for 20 minutes 
  • This should be done 2-3 times a day 
  • Pat the area dry 
  • Apply an antibiotic cream 
  • Apply a bandage 
  • If the bandage needs to be changed, unwrap carefully 
  • If the bandage sticks to the body, use warm water to loosen it 
  • Pat dry and apply fresh bandage 
  • Change the dressing regularly 
  • Try to keep the wound above the level of your heart, for 24 hrs 
  • This quickens healing 
  • Rest for 3-5 days 
  • Look out for infection 
  • Take a Tetanus Toxoid injection, if you have not taken it in 5 years 

Consult a Doctor
In case of-
  • Human/animal bite 
  • High temperature 
  • Bleeding 
  • Worsening Pain 
  • Numbness 
  • Swelling 
  • Redness 
  • Pus 
  • Bad odor 
Prevention
  • Health professionals should wear gloves whenever required 
  • Be careful while handling needles/other sharp objects 
  • Exercise caution while handling pets 

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Comments

@SecretEver, Singapore

For animal bites , it is best and advised for the patient to consult a doctor and check for rabies.

Its better to be safe than sorry.