First Aid Classes – Types of Wounds
There are many different types of wound and there are different ways to treat them to best promote healing and recovery. The type of wound depends on what has caused it and how it has been caused.
Here I will list the details of seven types of wounds.
Firstly, an incised wound is inflicted by a clean cut from a sharp-edged object. For example, incised wounds can be caused by a cut from a knife or razor. In these types of wounds, there may be significant bleeding as the blood vessels are cut straight across. There may also be damaged caused to the surrounding tendons, nerves or arteries.
Lacerations are common with elderly patients who have fragile tissue-paper skin. They are the result of crushing or ripping forces which cause tears or lacerations. In this type of wound, there is not always a large amount of bleeding however there is significant tissue damage. Depending on the object which causes the tear, there is a high risk of germs contaminating the wound causing infection.
An abrasion is otherwise known as a graze. This is when the top layers of skin are scraped off causing a raw, tender wound. These are often experienced in children and are the result of sliding falls or friction burns. This type of wound is superficial however are also at high risk of infection due to embedded foreign particles.
A contusion is another name for a bruise. A bruise is caused when capillaries are ruptured beneath the skin and results in blood leaking into the tissues, usually due to a blunt blow. The skin can also occasionally split depending on the force of the blow. However, severe bruising can indicate that there is deeper damage, including a fracture or internal injury.
Puncture wounds are defined by a small sit of entry but long, deep damage internally. Examples of puncture wounds include standing on a nail or being pricked by a needle. If the object puncturing the skin is dirty, there is a very high infection risk as bacteria can be carried deep into the body with it.
A stab wound is slightly different to a puncture wound. A stab wound is caused by a long or bladed instrument penetrating the body, normally a knife. Depending on the area of the body that is stabbed, these type of wounds must always bee investigated as there is a high risk of internal bleeding or damage to internal organs.
These type of wound are caused by a bullet or other missile driving into or through the body. This can result in severe internal injuries and is an infection risk due to the possibility of sucking in clothing or contaminants from the air. The site where the missile impacts is known as the entry wound and these are usually small and neat. However, you must always consider the possibility of there also being an exit wound if the bullet shoots right through the body. Exit wounds are often larger and more ragged than entry wounds.
First Aid Manual (The Authorised Manual of St. John Ambulance, St Andrew’s Ambulance Association and the British St Mark James), 2006.