How to Treat a Puncture Wound. Sharp objects such as nails or fishhooks cause puncture wounds when they penetrate the skin. Puncture wounds require special attention because bleeding is usually minimal and the risk of infection high, and because the penetrating object may have punctured organs and arteries inside.
Things You'll Need
- Mild Soap Such As Dishwashing Liquid
- Disinfected water
- Rubber Or Latex Gloves
Scrub hands thoroughly with soap and disinfected water.
Put on latex gloves to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
Prepare a disinfectant solution of 1 oz. povidone-iodine and 1 liter disinfected water. See "How to Disinfect Water." Set the disinfectant solution aside for about five minutes.
Irrigation and Scrubbing
Do not remove the object that caused the puncture if it is still impaled in the wound. See "How to Treat a Wound With an Impaled Object."
If there is little bleeding, encourage bleeding by pressing lightly on the tissue on either side of the wound with a gloved hand.
Scrub the area around the wound using a nailbrush and disinfectant solution. Scrubbing may be painful to the injured person, but it is important that all debris is removed.
Rinse a pair of tweezers thoroughly with disinfectant solution to sterilize them.
Remove all large pieces of dirt, debris, dead skin and flakes of clotted blood from the wound.
Draw the disinfectant solution into an irrigation syringe.
Hold the syringe perpendicular to the wound, about 2 to 3 inches above it. Angle the syringe and tilt the wound so that the solution will flood the wound and drain away from the opening.
Press down on the plunger to emit a forceful stream of solution.
Repeat the irrigation process, rinsing the wound for at least three to five minutes. Puncture wounds are very difficult to clean, so repeat the irrigation process as many times as possible to give the wound a thorough cleaning.
Rinse the wound liberally with disinfected water, because the disinfectant solution may cause irritation to the skin if left on.
Check the clothing and area around the injured person to make sure his or her skin won't be exposed to disinfectant solution for a prolonged period of time, because this may cause burning.
Bandage the wound immediately after it has been thoroughly cleansed of all debris. See "How to Bandage a Wound During First Aid."
Change the dressing and bandage, and monitor the wound daily for infection. See "How to Evaluate a Wound for Infection."
If there are any signs of infection, place a small piece of gauze inside the wound to prevent it from sealing and to allow pus to drain. See "How to Treat an Infected Wound."