How to Treat a Draining Wound

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When treating a wound it is necessary to use extreme caution, particularly if the wound is draining. Properly covering the wound and caring for it is vital to keep the area from getting infected. Whether you have the wound yourself or are treating a wound for someone, there are important steps you should take to ensure speedy healing, less risk of infection and minimal scarring.

Things You'll Need

  • Nonsterile plastic gloves
  • Sterile bandage
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine
  • Lysol, Pine-Sol or bleach and water solution
Use caution when treating a draining wound.
Use caution when treating a draining wound.

Step 1

Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds before treating the wound, taking care to lather well and wash the entire hand. Use a hand sanitizer that contains isopropyl rubbing alcohol if you cannot wash your hands.

Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds.
Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds.

Step 2

Put on a pair of nonsterile plastic gloves before touching or treating the wound.

Put on nonsterile plastic gloves before touching or treating the wound.
Put on nonsterile plastic gloves before touching or treating the wound.

Step 3

Wash the wound with chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide. Apply a clean, sterile bandage covered in antibiotic ointment or cream. Discard the gloves and put on new ones to wash the counters.

Wash the wound with hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine.
Wash the wound with hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine.

Step 4

If you must remove a soiled bandage, remove the bandage gently. Dispose of the dirty bandage and the gloves.

Remove soiled bandages gently.
Remove soiled bandages gently.

Step 5

Clean the area where you changed the dressing. Use a Lysol or Pine-Sol product or mix a solution of one-tablespoon bleach to one quart of water and wipe down all surfaces with the solution. Toss the used gloves and wash your hands again.

Clean the area where you changed the dressing.
Clean the area where you changed the dressing.

Step 6

Change the bandage whenever the doctor recommends, or when it gets wet from the drainage site, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services website.

Change the bandage as frequently as your doctor recommends.
Change the bandage as frequently as your doctor recommends.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Change the sheets of the bed daily that the person with the wound sleeps in. The person should avoid hot tubs and swimming pools. The wound must be covered at all times, and if it is not, he certainly should avoid contact sports or any skin-to-skin contact.
  • Contact a doctor or urgent care facility if the patient is experiencing fever or chills, an unusual amount of pain with movement, and the area does not appear to get better, with an increase in swelling and redness according to the University of Richmond website.
  • Ask the patient if he has had a tetanus booster in the last five years, if not, he should do this right away.
  • Treat the wound as if it is infectious, particularly if there is drainage of pus from the area. A staph infection can be deadly, so do not take this lightly.

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