Things have changed over the years when it comes to first aid for cuts and wounds. If you were like me, you grew up using iodine, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol for wound care. Well, the science has changed. So let’s cover how to clean a wound safely without causing more damage.
As a first aid instructor for over 25 years, one of the things I share with all my classes is that in an emergency, your actions should make things better, not worse. Wound care and treatment is one of those areas where we see a lot of mistakes made.
Proper Wound Care Treatment
So first off, as with any wound, make sure any bleeding has been controlled by applying direct pressure with clean dressings. Next, clean the wound with soap and water. Take a clean wash cloth or gauze dressing and get it wet and soapy and then gently scrub the area around the wound allowing the soap and water to flow into the wound. You can wash the abrasion or wound, just be careful to scrub gently to avoid damaging any tissue.
Now normally, water by itself would just run off the wound leaving a lot of bad stuff behind. When you add soap to the water it breaks down the surface tension of the water allowing the water to get in there and flush out all the debris, dirt and germs.
3 Most Common Mistakes On How To Treat Wounds
Now, about the things we used to use on wounds and cuts and scrapes. Starting with Hydrogen Peroxide, which is common place in most home medicine cabinets. We now know this antiseptic actually does more harm than good. Because it is an oxidizer it damages tissue and capillaries, thus slowing down the healing process.
Alcohol is also something that is commonly found in most commercial first aid kits, yet it also damages tissue and burns, very painful.
In the form of wipes, alcohol is normally used in the cleaning of skin before a needle stick by a doctor or paramedic. It should never be used on injured tissue.
Of course iodine, betadine should also not be used for wound care.
Proven To Be The Best First Aid Treatment on Wound
A good antiseptic alternative is BZK (benzalkonium chloride) wipes when soap and water is not available. Because they do not contain alcohol, they are safe to use on injured tissue. These wipes are a great addition to any real first aid kit.
The Best “REAL” First Aid Kit
Our “Real” First Aid Kit is built to save lives. You can safely and effectively perform CPR, control Severe Bleeding, treat Shock, treat serious Burns, stabilize Broken Bones, along with minor first aid emergencies.