Any accidental wound is initially infected. However, this does not mean that the infection will necessarily develop. Often, the body’s defenses to cope with microbes on their own. However, another scenario is possible: a wound (even the smallest scratch or abrasion) can fester and lead to blood poisoning (sepsis). But this is not worth joking!
Swelling, redness, pain, fever? This is dangerous!
The main signs of a developing infection are swelling, redness, pain and fever. You may not see any discharge from the wound, but if it hurts, and the skin around it becomes red, hot to the touch and starts to hurt, then suppuration has begun. Even one of these signs is an occasion to see a doctor. Procrastination is life threatening if red stripes are added to the listed symptoms, which diverge from the wound. This is wound lymphangitis. It indicates that the infection went beyond the wound and spreads through the lymphatic tract. The condition is very serious, running to the doctor!
First aid: the wound must be washed and disinfected
Use antiseptics. In order to prevent the development of suppuration and sepsis, it is important to be able to provide first aid correctly. A fresh wound should be thoroughly washed with boiled water or furacilin. If earth, sand or anything else gets into the wound, you need to clean it carefully. Use large forceps to extract large fragments. After that, treat the wound with any antiseptic (alcoholic extract of calendula, brilliant green, chlorhexidine) available at compounding pharmacy near me.
When not to do without antibiotics
Destroy the infection. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of wound lymphangitis. The doctor selects the drug, taking into account the circumstances of the injury, especially the wound, the most likely causative agent of infection. At the initial stage, broad-spectrum antibiotics are usually used. Then, the microflora is separated from the wound and its sensitivity to antibiotics is determined. After this, treatment is prescribed against a specific pathogen. In some cases, bacteriophages and other agents are used.
Consult a doctor
If in doubt. Are you not sure that you did a good job of treating the wound? Contact the emergency room. If the cut is deep enough, you may need the help of a surgeon. Is the wound large and contaminated? It does not hurt to consult a doctor about tetanus prophylaxis – this is a serious disease, no less dangerous than sepsis. It is important to know that at the beginning of the development of infection, its typical symptoms may not be observed, especially in the elderly. Only a doctor can determine exactly whether there is cause for concern. The possibility of death in sepsis is 20-50%, and the treatment is not easy. At the same time, one of the key factors on which the success of therapy depends is timely diagnosis. So do not rely on chance, do not self-medicate, and in the case of the slightest doubt go to the doctor.
What you should not do
- Avoid the common mistake: when treating a scratch or cut, remember that iodine and alcohol should not be poured into the wound cavity. These products are applied only to the skin around the wound. Otherwise, you can cause tissue burns, and this will significantly slow down the healing process and can lead to the formation of a rough scar in place of the wound.
- Important! If the wound is very dirty, hydrogen peroxide can be used for washing. But be careful: it cannot be entered into deep wounds! In this case, air bubbles can enter the bloodstream, and this is extremely dangerous. It is possible to treat the damaged skin area only with clean (and, if possible, disinfected) hands. And do not touch with your hands those parts of the dressing that will directly contact the wound.
- The famous composer Alexander Scriabin died of sepsis. He squeezed a boil on his face. It turned out to be unsuccessful: this led to the appearance of a carbuncle, and subsequently to the development of infection.
- The cause of the death of the famous Jack Daniel (“author” of Jack Daniel’s whiskey) was blood poisoning. The poor man forgot the safe lock code, kicked him in the hearts and broke his finger. Daniel died of sepsis six months after being injured.