First Aid: Punctures
First Aid: Punctures
A puncture wound is a deep wound
caused by a sharp pointed object. This break in the skin is an open door, inviting
germs to enter your body and cause infection. Seek medical help right away for a puncture
Step 1. Clean thoroughly
Don't squeeze the wound.
If the puncture wound is not
severe and does not need medical attention, soak the wound in warm, soapy water to
help the injury heal from the inside out.
Then cover the wound with a
gauze dressing to absorb any drainage and let air in for faster healing.
Step 2. Keep the embedded objects from
If an object lodges in the
body, put pressure around the wound to control bleeding. Wear gloves or use other
protection as a barrier between you and any blood.
Wrap gauze or cloth around
the object to hold it steady. Tape the wrapping in place.
Don't increase the risk of
internal bleeding by trying to remove an embedded object.
911 right away if the victim has
any of the following:
- Symptoms of shock:
Pale or clammy skin
Pulse that is so light or
races so fast that you can’t count the beats
Victim is confused or unable
to concentrate or stares blankly. Over time, the victim may even become
- A large object such as a knife is embedded in the body
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider or
seek medical attention right away if any of these occur:
The wound covers a large area
or is deep.
The ear or eye is
An object such as a nail
remains lodged in the body.
The injury is on the face or
any area where scarring is a concern.
The person needs protection
against tetanus. This is a disease caused by bacteria that may enter any break in
the skin and bring on a life-threatening illness called lockjaw. The body’s
defenses may need a booster injection if it’s been more than five years since the
last tetanus vaccine.
Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Godsey
Date Last Reviewed:
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