Puncture Wounds Treatment

Puncture Wounds

I remember when I was young doing homework with a classmate in her living room. The phone rang, and in a mad rush to answer it, she ran in a flash to get to that ringing telephone. My pencil was in her direct path, and that freshly sharpened number 2 became quickly and firmly planted in the side of her foot. We stood there looking at each other for a moment before she calmly removed the pencil leaving a perfect hole. Panic set in shortly after as we rushed to treat the puncture wound. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a ton of blood, we quickly realized this was because the lead still remained creating a pressed metal band aid of sorts.

Puncture wounds are typically caused by nails, glass, thumbtacks, splinters, and pens and pencils. Unfortunately, they often occur in our oh-so-overused feet when we unassumingly step on one of these instruments of pain. The treatment for puncture wounds is not very different than treating other injuries; but because of what usually causes them, it’s important to note a few things. Step on a rusty nail? Best to make sure you’re up to date on your tetanus shots. Have a run in with a pencil like my friend? Well if it’s still in the hole it just made in your flesh, it’s critical to seek medical care immediately to ensure that any remaining debris is removed. If all is well, the wound is usually cleaned with soap and water or wound cleanser and dressed properly. If you notice that you have a potential non healing wound, evident by bleeding for more than five minutes, or squirting blood, seek immediate medical care.

For more severe puncture wounds such as an abdominal stabbing for instance, you should probably not be reading this and be at a hospital. But if you’re just trying to be proactive, it’s important to note that deep puncture wounds of this type can increase in severity quickly leading to rapid blood loss and in extreme cases – wound evisceration, the literal leaking of organs from a wound. This could result in further complications including infection, surgical repair and even wound dehiscence.

Hopefully, all of your puncture wounds will be nothing more than a splinter from a warm wooden deck on a hot summer day. If you remember to treat the wound by removing debris, cleaning as normal and applying pressure, your injury will heal like any other. Seek medical care for those occurring on the head or near the eyes, and don’t leave number 2 pencils lying around if you can help it.