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    Wound care at home: Preventing Infection
    Tuesday, April 27, 2021

    Studies show that common cuts and lacerations can have up to a 30% chance of infection. Signs of infection include redness around the cut, yellow or green coloured or cloudy wound drainage, and increased swelling, tenderness, or pain around the cut.

    Help prevent cuts or lacerations from becoming infected using this simple 3 step process: Clean, Apply, Cover.

    Clean

    Infections in cuts and lacerations can often come from our hands.

    Before you attend to a cut or laceration, it is essential to clean your hands with an alcohol prep wipe, such as Medicare Alcohol Prep Pads which have a 99% alcohol content to clear germs from the hands before you attend to the injury.

    Warning: unlike wound cleansers, alcohol prep pads should never be used on open cuts, scrapes or grazes. The alcohol content is far greater in these pads than that of wound cleansers and is therefore far too high to use on broken skin.

    Another use for the prep pads is to sterilise the skin before injection. These are especially useful for patients who administer medicine daily via needle or do frequent skin prick tests, such as those with diabetes.

    Apply

    Applying a non-alcohol solution, spray, cream or wipe to a cut or laceration before covering with a plaster or dressing can help protect against infection, encourage healing and reduce scarring. 

    Medicare Alcohol-Free Cleansing Wipes are ideal for this purpose as they are gentle on the skin and are designed not to sting. Each wipe is saturated with 0.9% sodium chloride solution and 99.1% purified water for gentle cleansing. Applying an alcohol solution on the wound can trigger irritation and pain so non-alcohol alternatives are ideal for ease of use.

    Medicare have also released a brand new Hypoallergenic Sterile Saline Spray that aids in gentle wound and eye irrigation. Wound healing is supported by this spray as it mechanically removes foreign bodies, blood, reduces pathogens and dead tissue whilst also moistening the tissue in the process.

    Cover

    A common misconception with wounds, cuts and scrapes is that leaving it uncovered can help heal it quickly, but this is not the case. Bacteria and dirt can easily enter the wound and lead to infection and a longer recovery period. Covering a cut with a sterile dressing or plaster after cleaning it can ward off infection and promote healing. 

    Medicare Fabric Plasters are hypoallergenic and allow the wound to ventilate, and their skin-friendly adhesive won't irritate the skin. Larger wounds can be covered by an absorbent pad and conforming or crepe bandage to ensure secure fixation. Make sure to change plasters and dressings daily and clean the wound to maintain a positive healing environment.

     

    For more advanced woundcare, Medicare’s top products and their uses are outlined below:


    Pop into your local CarePlus Pharmacy for all your wound care needs.


    Information source: Fleming Medical