WHASA Conference 2019
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Wound Care

Basic principles of wound care include

  1. If a patient has pain and painkillers are available, give them to the patient 20 minutes before the procedure to limit procedural pain.
  2. Put a linen saver or a very clean towel underneath the area with a wound to establish a clean area to work on.
  3. Remove the current dressings from the wound bed and discard it all into a separate plastic bag that will serve as rubbish bag for all the rest of the materials that needs to be thrown away. Remember the colour seen on the dressing, to record it later.
  4. Wash hands again, dry well and wear gloves when doing the clean procedure
  5. Pour cleansing solution little by little over the wound and dab the wound bed dry with clean gauze. Do not rub the wound bed.
  6. If fluid is flushed over the wound bed with a syringe or out of a clean pour bottle, it is necessary to have a fluid collection container underneath to prevent the bed from getting wet.
  7. The solution recommended for cleansing open wounds is Saline 0.9% solution.
  8. Saline can be made at home by boiling water, cool to room temperature and adding a teaspoon of table sale. Remember to mix to completely dissolve.
  9. Lightly dry the wound bed after cleansing with clean gauze.
  10. Put the ointment or cream on top of the new dressing (if it is gauze), then put it with the ointment side facing down on top of the wound bed. Press the gauze slightly to get an even spread of ointment over the wound bed.
  11. Bandages are recommended to secure the dressing if the wound is situated on arms or legs. Plasters are recommended to secure the dressing to other body parts.
  12. Keep a record on a sheet of paper where it can be written when the wound was done, by whom, what ointment was used, what color the wound bed was, what it smelt like, if the size was getting smaller and what the patient complained about.
  13. Burn the refuge bag that holds all the soiled dressings and DO NOT dump it into the municipal waste system.