Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Health Tip of the Day - Tourniquets

We all get cuts and scrapes, but sometimes they're alot worse than usual. Some people think using a tourniquet is the smart thing to do, but it can be really dangerous if you haven't been trained on how to use one. They can cause severe nerve, muscle and tissue damage if left on too long. The rule of thumb is NOT to apply a tourniquet if you don't know how long it's gonna have to be there.

Almost all bleeding will stop by simply applying pressure to the wound for several minutes. So, stay calm and try to do this with the cleanest material you can find because you don't want to introduce more bacterial into the wound. You might need to keep changing the "bandage" if it gets soaked with blood.

If the lacerations are visibly large and deep, you probably should see your doctor or maybe just go to the ER, because alot of doctor's offices aren't set up to take care of complicated lacerations.

Even a small cut can become a problem because if it's deep, which you can't always see, it could still involve muscles, nerves and/or tendons and may need stitches.

Minor cuts can usually be taken care of at home. If the edges are clean and come together nicely, you can use a butterfly to bring the edges together again. Butterfly bandaids and maybe some tincture of Benzoin should always be part of a first aid kit. There are lots of new and different first aid products available now, but butterflies and bandaids and a kiss are usually the best!

Oh, and don't forget about the Tetanus shot. If it's been more than 10 years or if it's a particular dirty cut, you're probably gonna need one! Sorry.

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