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Steps to clean a puncture wound

One of the biggest problems with a puncture wound is simply that it may appear to be less problematic than a longer cut or laceration. The flesh closes over the wound. You think the bleeding is done and that the damage isn't that bad.

However, the issue is that bacteria could be deep within the cut, where it won't be washed out by the bleeding -- as it would with a shallow cut. This can make it more likely that you get a serious infection.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the first thing you should do is to wash your hands. You don't want to add any more bacteria to the area. Then, using a cloth or a bandage, put pressure on the area until you're sure it's really done bleeding.

This is when many people stop and just put a bandage over it, but you're far better off to clean it by rinsing it out first. Use soap to clean the skin around the wound and put an antibiotic on the would itself. This helps to kill the bacteria and really clean the wound before you cover it up.

Finally, put a bandage on it to keep it clean while it heals. Change that bandage every 24 hours. This gives you a chance to clean the area again and look for any warning signs of infection.

Dog bites can often cause deep puncture wounds with those long canine teeth. If these bites get infected, you could find yourself in the hospital and battling a whole host of expensive medical issues. Be sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Puncture wounds: First aid," accessed July 14, 2017

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