Acute wound refers to accidental skin injury, such as abrasion, cut, burn or scald. When the accident occurs, stay calm. Make a quick assessment to decide on the treatment according to the wound site and severity. For bleeding wound without foreign body, apply direct pressure on the wound for about 5-15 minutes to stop bleeding. Clean and dress the wound properly to prevent wound infection. If bleeding persists or if a foreign body is deeply seated in the wound (do not try to remove it as the bleeding may worsen), seek medical treatment immediately. For dirty wounds, especially if contaminated by mud or rust, anti-tetanus toxoid (ATT) injection should be given if none has been given before, or if given more than a decade ago. A full course of ATT comprises 3 injections and offers 10 years protection. For burns and scald wound, cooling is the most important principle in management. The aim is to prevent the heat from spreading to the deeper layers of skin. Rinse the wound under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. Dress the wound with sterile and non-adhesive dressing. Seek hospital care if the condition is serious
Chronic wound refers to any wound which has remained unhealed for longer than 4 weeks, such as pressure sore or venous ulcer. The basic principle in chronic wound care is to keep the wound clean to prevent infection and promote healing. Regular aseptic wound dressing is crucial. The choice of dressing materials varies according to the wound's condition and it is better to follow the nurse instruction. To promote healing, other factors are also important, e.g. balanced diet for nutrition and appropriate exercise to promote circulation for wound healing.
Pressure sore, also known as bedsore, is common among the bedridden. It is caused by persistent pressure, friction and moisture. Prominent bony areas of the body are prone to bed-sore, such as sacrum, ankles, etc. In order to prevent bed sore, patients should increase activity and avoid prolonged staying in the same posture. Relatives can carry out passive exercise for the bedridden and assist in changing position regularly. It is crucial to avoid frictional injury to skin during position change, and pay attention to skin hygiene and wound cleansing. Apart from daily bathing and regular dressing, it is necessary to promptly change dirty and wet dressing, napkin, clothing and bedding. Adequate nutrition intake is also important to maintain healthy skin.