Other Wounds

//Other Wounds

What to Do If You Cut Your Mouth or Tongue

Mouth cuts always get infected by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. You’re camping in a remote part of Alaska. The helicopter that brought you in won’t be back for days. You slip and hit a rock. Your front tooth cuts through your lip or cuts your tongue. What do you do? How do you treat a mouth cut or a tongue cut when no medical help is around? […]

By | November 1st, 2011|Cuts, Other Wounds, Skin|112 Comments

When to See a Doctor for a Cut

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. When to see a doctor for a cut? Crash. A brick flies through a window. Your spouse is cut and bleeding, but otherwise unhurt. The streets are jammed with rioters. There’s no ambulance available, and even if you could get to the hospital, it’s packed.  Should you fight the crowd or stay put? The urgency of when to see a doctor for a cut depends on several things. […]

By | October 27th, 2011|Cuts, Other Wounds, Skin|51 Comments

When to Get Stitches

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Do I need stitches, Doc? It’s a question patients who come in with cuts often ask me. Or something like, “I feel so silly wasting your time over a little cut.” So how do you know when to get stitches? […]

By | October 25th, 2011|Cuts, Other Wounds, Skin|12 Comments

Honey As an Antibiotic Ointment: Sweet Treatment for Wounds

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. If you don’t have antibiotic ointment, honey’s a great antibacterial for wounds. It kills bacteria and helps cuts, scrapes, burns and even ulcerated wounds heal, and there have been plenty of clinical studies to prove it. […]

By | October 15th, 2011|Cuts, General, Other Wounds, Skin|66 Comments

How to Tell How Bad a Wound Is

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Note: If you’re treating a cut right now, click here to read a different post. The article below is meant to be read before emergencies or for additional information.  When you have a bad cut, all that bleeding can be scary, but how much blood you’re dripping isn’t necessarily an indicator of how bad the wound is—unless, of course, it’s a large amount. Here’s a better guide to figuring that out. […]

By | October 4th, 2011|Cuts, Other Wounds, Skin|3 Comments

Skin Lacerations: How to Treat a Cut, Scrape, Gash, Stab Wound

IN AN EMERGENCY: Treating a wound with no access to medical care right now? This is the post to read. You can sometimes use duct tape to close a wound. (See step four.) by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. You’re cleaning up after the big storm. You’re wearing gloves but grab a pile of rubble that contains some sheet metal. Next thing you know, your glove is red with blood. You cannot get medical help. What do you do? Basics for Treating All Cuts, Scrapes, Gashes and Stab Wounds: 1. Stop the bleeding. Apply direct pressure. If it’s a cut finger, squeeze the wound with your other hand. With a larger area, push down with the base of your palm. Use a clean rag if available. Even if it’s a small artery, you can temporarily stop the bleeding by squeezing proximal (closest to the heart) to the wound. A tourniquet is a last resort. Direct pressure is always better if it works. For Visual Learners Here’s my video series on how to treat cuts: Part 1: Stop the Bleeding Part 2: Assess and Clean the Cut Part 3: Repair the Cut With Duct Tape Be careful if you suspect a broken bone underneath. You don’t want to push too hard and move the bone out of place. As a rule, sharp cuts bleed more than dull, at least at first. (Dull cuts pull more on the blood vessels, causing them to spasm and close more). This has nothing to do with the severity of the cut. Cuts on the face and fingers tend to bleed more (more dense blood supply). If you have a mouth or tongue cut, click here for special instructions. […]

By | September 28th, 2011|Cuts, Getting Started, Other Wounds, Skin|172 Comments

Arteries Vs. Veins: How to Tell the Difference and Stop the Bleeding

Arteries flow away from the heart (red). Veins flow back toward it (blue). by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. When trying to stop a cut from bleeding, you need to know how to tell the difference between a bleeding vein and a bleeding artery. Memorize this saying: Arteries spurt. Veins don’t. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to tissue. Veins drain the blood back to the heart to resupply it with oxygen. Arteries pump. Veins dump. Step 1: Apply pressure. Use gauze or a clean cloth. If you don’t have anything else, use a gloved hand. If it’s yourself, as a last resort, use your bare hand. If it’s others, beware you could be exposing yourself to a blood-borne disease. Stuff a gash with a cloth (the cleanest you have) or gauze, and hold pressure. A shirt will do. Step 2: Determine whether it’s an artery or vein. […]

By | September 19th, 2011|Cuts, Jargon, Other Wounds, Skin|44 Comments