If you've suffered an injury or undergone surgery, you may be required to care for your wound at home. It's important that proper precautions are taken to avoid infection in these instances. Additionally, you will need the appropriate supplies to tend to the site.
Depending on the type of wound you are dealing with, different methods of care will be required. However, with a few simple steps, you can help ensure that the site heals healthily and in a timely manner. Before coming in contact with the wound, wash your hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs.1 You will also want to take precaution when tending to the site of the surgery or injury.
The dressing of the wound should be changed on a regular basis, as directed by your clinician. This is vital for preventing germs from causing an infection. When doing so, follow these guidelines:
- Always wear disposable gloves.
- Before discarding the old dressing, check it for any signs of infection. These can include discharge that is greenish in color or a stench.
- Soak the gauze in saline solution and use it to cleanse the area, removing any drainage, blood and other material that has built up.2
- Before placing a new dressing on the site, pat the wound dry with gauze. If you use a towel or other type of cloth, it may leave remnants in the wound that can cause issues.
- Follow instructions provided by your clinician when placing the new dressing on the site. It's important to secure the gauze completely with surgical tape to keep unwanted materials from coming in contact with the wound.