How do I clean a wound?

A wound is a break in the skin. A plaster or larger dressing is usually all that is needed to stop a wound bleeding. However, you might need to apply pressure to the area, and if an arm or leg is affected, you should raise it above heart level.

Before putting on a plaster or other dressing, you will need to clean the wound. Follow the steps below to ensure that it does not become infected:

When to seek medical advice

You should always get medical advice if the injury:

Most human bites are the result of a "closed fist injury", where one person punches another person in the teeth and cuts their hand. Typical symptoms include small cuts to the hand and red, swollen and painful skin.

If you are not sure how serious your injury is, it is best to get a healthcare professional to check it. If you have a large wound or a deep cut, they will need to examine it carefully to assess how serious it is. They will also clean the wound thoroughly before stitching it up.

Tetanus vaccination

It is very important to check that you are up to date with your tetanus jabs if your skin is broken in an injury, or if you are bitten. You will be given a booster jab if your GP thinks you need one.

This article comes from nhs-choices edit released

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