Wounds are injuries that break down body tissues. Wounds range from small cuts or scrapes to large gashes. Wounds compromise the immune system by inviting foreign invaders into the body. An open wound is ripe for bacteria that leads to serious infection. Therefore, wounds must be treated as quickly and effectively as possible to prevent additional harm to the body.
When should I see a doctor?
A person should visit a healthcare provider if the wound is large in size, requires stiches and additional medical attention, or takes too long to heal. A doctor will perform a thorough evaluation of the wound, suggesting treatments and prescribing medications to speed up the healing process. During the evaluation process, the doctor will ask how the patient got the wound. Sometimes, patients with disorders like diabetes develop wounds unknowingly that take a long time to heal. While examining the patient, the doctor will ask questions about the person’s medical history. There are many tests doctors will conduct including:
Once the doctor thoroughly evaluates the wound, a treatment plan is created to manage the injury. At this point, the doctor will know if the wound is healing normally or has chronic properties.
What is wound debridement?
During wound debridement, a doctor removes dead tissues and foreign materials from a wound to prevent further infection. Oftentimes, dead tissue becomes discolored and develops a green, black, or gray hue. Bacteria thrive on dead tissue and the tissue holds pockets of pus. The doctor removes the tissues as often as necessary to heal the wound. Tissue can be removed with a sharp instrument, chemicals or pulse lavage. Doctors can also work with the body’s natural healing abilities by applying moist dressings to the wound.
Removing dead tissue can be painful for the patient, especially when sharp debridement is used, but this process is necessary for the safe removal of potentially hazardous tissues and wound healing.
Finding a healthcare provider
When dealing with wounds, patients should seek a healthcare provider that specializes in wound care and treatment. This provider will be able to properly manage the wound and educate the patient about wound care.