A puncture wound is one in which the wound leads to a puncture in the body. It is unlike a normal cut because a cut merely tears the skin; whereas a puncture wound punctures the skin and makes a hole in it. This is an issue of concern because this type of a wound can cause an infection in the body even though it may or may not lead to too much bleeding. A puncture wound infection is caused because the object that causes the wound might have bacteria or germs on its surface, and once it punctures the body and goes inside the skin, it could pass those germs and bacteria into the body and it's various systems―thereby causing an infection of varied degrees, like gangrene.
The other fear of having an infection is that it might have punctured the organs and arteries inside the body, thus increasing the risk furthermore.
CausesAn infection could be caused due to several things. Some of these include:
- Ice Picks
- Metal Pricks
- Any other sharp object
What are the Signs of this ConditionThere are several puncture wound infection symptoms of the same that one needs to look out for. These will help you determine whether the wound is merely a cut or a bruise, or has developed into a full blown infected cut. It is important to trace a puncture wound, because other than causing a severe infection in the body which can further escalate into something major, it might also embed the foreign object under the skin, thereby causing further damage. A puncture wound infection has certain characteristic signs and symptoms. Some of these are:
- The skin will begin to drain a yellow or greenish fluid. More commonly known as pus.
- The area surrounding the wound becomes red and swollen.
- There is tremendous pain experienced in and around that area.
- There might be an onset of fever (more than 100 ºF) after a few hours post the injury.
- There might be red streaks around the wound.
- In severe cases, there will be numbness following the wound, in some or more body parts.
- The muscle or flesh might be visible from the wound.
- The bleeding might not stop even after applying direct pressure to it.
TreatmentIt is important to administer treatment because it can cause further complications. Some of the puncture wound infection treatment procedures that one can adopt are as follows.
Check the Wound
Make a thorough check of the object that caused the wound. See if it is intact. If not, it's possible that a few pieces are still inside the wound.
Next, apply direct and even pressure with the help of a bandage onto the wound. Hold the pressure constantly for 15-20 minutes. If it does not stop or continues to squirt, then that is a sign of danger. In which case, immediate medical attention is advised.
Clean the Wound
Wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap before attempting to clean the wound. Clean the wound thoroughly with the help of warm water and soap. Remove any foreign objects that you might find near or in the wound. You can do this with a pair of tweezers, after they have been sterilized with alcohol.
Bandage the Wound
Apply an antiseptic first aid ointment to the wound and cover it with a bandage. This will help to prevent any debris or foreign bodies from getting into the wound and leading to a more severe form of infection.
Make sure to clean the area three times a day with soap and water. Then apply an antibiotic cream and cover again with a bandage or gauze. If the bandage gets wet, make sure to change it.
Understand that if either signs escalate, it is best to seek medical help. So also, if one suffers from any heart disorders or diabetes. If one cannot remember the last time they took a tetanus shot, it is better to seek medical attention and take one at the earliest.
It is important to know what a puncture wound infection entails, so that it is easy to understand the symptoms and administer treatment accordingly. In case it feels like tending to the wound is beyond your scope, it is strongly recommended that you consult a doctor at the earliest and provide proper treatment.
Disclaimer - This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.