Proper techniques for dressing wounds Proper techniques for dressing wounds

Whilst sometimes alarming, cuts and abrasions are a normal part of everyday life. Most minor wounds do not require medical treatment and can be dressed and treated at home. If a more serious injury needs medication or care, you may need to dress it whilst you wait for help. In both cases, it is important to dress a wound carefully and correctly to prevent further injury.

Quickly Assess the Bleeding

It might not be your first thought when an emergency happens but coming into contact with bodily fluids like blood poses health risks. Where possible, take precautions to protect yourself from exposure. Then check the amount of bleeding. If the wound is deep, bleeding heavily, or there is bright red or squirting blood, call 999.

Gather Supplies

Get whatever you think you may need, like gauze, medical tape, scissors, and water. After you have what you need, wash and dry your hands. One of the greatest risks a wound faces is infection so keep your hands and materials clean.

Clean the Wound

Carefully clean the wound and the skin around it with running water and soap. Once clean, rinse the wound and if needed, use tweezers to remove any fragments like broken glass. You should apply antibiotic ointment at this stage, but avoid hydrogen peroxide as studies have shown there are limited benefits. Let the wound fully dry.

Dressing a Wound

Most small abrasions and lacerations can be dressed with simple plasters. For larger wounds, you may need to use gauze pads. Put the pad over the wound and if using a wrap, secure it firmly against the skin. For tape, apply it around at least two of the edges of the pad to keep it in place.

Replacing the Dressing

You will need to replace the dressing at least twice a day. This also gives you a chance to monitor the wound for signs of infection. Repeat the process above each time you put on a fresh dressing.

ACTICOAT Dressings

ACTICOAT dressings make wound care simple, easy, and safe. Using proprietary technology, ACTICOAT is an antimicrobial barrier dressing that can fight against bacteria, including MRSA. They can be used on wide patches of skin and can be cut to size for smaller areas. 

ACTICOAT and ACTICOAT FLEX 7 are available online in the UK from our website.