Table of contents:
- When is a stab wound considered an emergency?
- Methods of Aid for Punctured Wounds
- Relief for Severe Punctured Wounds
Stab wounds are wounds that occur due to a sharp or pointed object punctured. Although the wound is small and may not bleed much, a stab wound can become infected if not treated properly
Aid for stab wounds depends on the severity of the wound, the type and speed of the piercing object. Bullet gunshot wounds are a type of stab wound that are made at high speed and often leave shrapnel in the body's organs.
In addition, assistance is also adjusted to the condition of the piercing object, whether there is a high risk of causing heavy damage in the body and causing infection. Animal bites can also appear in the form of stab wounds and are quite risky to cause infection.
When is a stab wound considered an emergency?
Stab wounds can lead to life-threatening conditions, especially if:
- The wound bleeds profusely or causes blood spurts
- Blood coming out of the wound doesn't stop after being pressed firmly for 10 minutes
- Stab wounds occur in the neck, chest, stomach, or face, for example in the eyes and then the blood enters the throat
- Accompanied by symptoms in the form of severe pain, rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, dizziness, decreased consciousness
If you find the above conditions in a stab wound victim, immediately contact the emergency department (IGD) at the hospital.
Although not life threatening, stab wounds need to be checked by a doctor, especially if:
- Stab wound deep enough and hit the bone
- Stab wound looks dirty
- Stab wounds from animal or human bites
- Stab wounds to the feet, for example from being stabbed by nails
If you find a stab wound with the above conditions, immediately consult a doctor for treatment.
Methods of Aid for Punctured Wounds
If you come across someone with a stab wound, the first step is to protect yourself. Make sure you are safe. If you are not a victim, take general precautions and wear personal protection, such as gloves and goggles, if available.
After you have confirmed that you are safe near the victim, follow these steps:
1. Bleeding control
Applying direct pressure to the stab wound while elevating the injured area so that it is above the heart for 15 minutes is usually enough to stop the bleeding.
If the bleeding doesn't stop, apply pressure to the points where the blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin, including the brachial artery (between the shoulder and elbow), the femoral artery (in the groin along the groin), and the popliteal artery (behind the knee).
2. Close the stab wound in the chest
Deep stab wounds to the chest should be covered immediately by hand or with a bandage that does not allow air to flow. This is because a stab wound to the chest can cause the lungs to collapse. If the victim becomes more breathless after the stab wound in the chest is closed, remove the cover immediately.
3. Cuci wound with warm water
Wash the stab wound with warm water and mild soap. However, if blood comes out again from the wound, apply pressure again.
4. Balut stab wound with bandage
If the stab wound is small, the victim can be given antiseptic ointment and covered with a bandage. If the bleeding continues, take the victim to a doctor.
5. Watch for signs of infection
When doing wound care, always pay attention to the condition of the wound and observe when changing the bandage for fever. The presence of redness, swelling, or pus discharge from the wound is a sign of infection and should be checked by a doctor immediately.
6. Clean and change the bandage
The bandage needs to be cleaned every day. Each time you change the bandage, clean the wound and check for signs of infection.
7. Take pain medication if needed
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to relieve pain as needed.
Relief for Severe Punctured Wounds
There are special treatments for stab wounds with severe conditions. The following is the distribution of treatment for stab wounds based on the condition of the victim:
The wound looks dirty
Stab wounds on the feet that cannot be cleaned immediately or wounds caused by animal bites are at high risk of being infected with tetanus germs. In this condition, the doctor will consider giving the tetanus and antitetanus vaccine.
Injury from animal bite
Certain animal bites can cause rabies. About 90% of cases of rabies infection are transmitted through the bite of pets, such as cats and dogs, because of their close relationship with humans.
Human bite wounds
Human bite wounds have a very high risk of infection, even higher than dog bites. You need to immediately consult a doctor if you find a wound caused by a human bite.
Gunshot wounds can cause more serious damage to internal organs than they appear. The chance of a victim surviving a gunshot wound depends on how quickly the victim gets medical treatment.
Regardless of size or size, stab wounds are at risk of causing infection and serious consequences. Therefore, if you experience or see another person suffering from a stab wound, take the above steps for help. If possible, take the victim to the hospital for immediate treatment.
dr. Sonny Seputra, M.Ked.Klin, Sp.B, FINACS(Surgeon Specialist)