Wounds & Bleeds
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Having worked as practice nurse for a few years in a GP surgery, I often encountered patients attending my clinics for healthy lifestyle consultation, dressing changes, and wound care advice. As a nurse you need to be aware of long-term conditions, various types of wounds and dressing types to go with it.
When I launched my first aid training centre and began teaching first aid to parents and children, I realised how important the really simple things were. As parents we don’t need medical qualifications or to understand all medical terminology to be able to look after our children. It is essential that we have some first aid knowledge, but most importantly to be logical and attentive to respond when needed.
Growing up in a multi-cultural setting, I’ve also heard and even adapted to many home remedies and certain ‘myths’. Some of these may work or if anything calm our nerves down, but these rituals are not evidence based. That’s one thing I have incorporated in my way of thinking since I qualified as a nurse in 2005, to have an evidence based approach.
If your child is responsive (they are breathing normally), your first priority is to stop any bleeding. Apply direct pressure on the wound with a gauze dressing or a clean cloth to stop bleeding. Keep the dressing and cloth secured with a firmly wrapped flexible bandage. If there’s no bleeding or the bleeding has stopped, you want to act to prevent infection. If there's an object in the wound don’t pull the object out, as it may be working as a plug.
Do not clean a cut using alcohol, peroxide, Betadine or other antiseptic agents on a cut or wound. Not only can things like alcohol sting a lot, but these compounds can destroy healthy cells and delay or prevent the skin’s healing process.
What to do:
Sit them down
If there is an object in the wound, apply pressure on each side of the wound
If there's no object in the wound, apply direct pressure to the wound
Firmly secure sterile dressing with a bandage
Support the injured part
Elevate the injury
Monitor their symptoms and level of response
Call 999/112 for open wounds and severe bleeds
With severe bleeds - never remove gauze or cloth from the wound site as the bleeding slows down, as this may remove underneath coating and make the wound bleed all over again. If the first gauze or cloth is soaked through, add another dressing or cloth on top and add more pressure with the bandage.
Cuts caused by nails or rusty items may require Tetanus injection (depending on your child’s vaccination history).
Always report animal bites and seek medical advice.
Keep monitoring the area and look for any signs of infection the upcoming days. If symptoms deteriorate, seek medical advice.
Written by Fi Ramos, Public Health Nurse & First Aid Instructor at Act2care.
Information on this site is evidence based and provided to create awareness and advice only. If you are worried about a condition, seek medical advice.
Theoretical first aid tips are beneficial, however practical demonstrations and exercises are necessary for gaining high standard of first aid knowledge and skills.
If you are interested in gaining first aid skills, contact Fi to find our more about our paediatric first aid classes at email@example.com