The Principles of Wilderness & Long-term Wound Care:
Control of bleeding with direct pressure.
Prevention of infection with proper wound cleaning.
Recognition and management of soft tissue infections, cellulitis, and abscess formation.
Protection of further injury by proper bandaging.
Promotion of healing with proper wound care.
Monitoring the wound site for signs of infection.
Dressing changes twice a day.
The steps of proper wound management are to:
Control bleeding – direct pressure, elevation, pressure dressings.
Examine the wound – remove dressings and explore the wound.
Evaluate function – circulation, sensation, and motion.
Debride – properly scrub and clean the wound with soap and water.
Irrigate – irrigate, irrigate, irrigate until clean.
Dress and bandage – splint to protect and support if necessary.
Monitor for signs of infection – red, swollen, tender, warm.
Recognition and Management of Wound Infections:
Rubor – redness
Tumor – swelling
Dalor – tenderness
Calor – warmth
For more detailed information on wilderness and long-term management of Soft Tissue Injuries see the Jan/Feb 2006 and the March/April 2006 issues of the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter.
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