Wound Care

Wound care focuses on primary intention (treatment of the wound) or secondary intention (indirect treatment due to conflicting injuries or complications). During secondary intention, the wound most likely cannot be sutured closed and wound care can only be aided by preventing further complications, leaving it to repair through the body’s natural healing process. In this process damaged tissue is restored by the formation of connective tissue and re-growth of the epithelium.


Falls, accidents with sharp objects, and car accidents are the most common causes of open wounds. In the case of a serious accident, you should contact a doctor immediately. This is especially true if there’s a lot of bleeding or if bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes.

  • Abrasion. This occurs when your skin rubs or scrapes against a rough or hard surface. Road rash is an example of an abrasion. There’s usually not a lot of bleeding, but the wound needs to be scrubbed and cleaned to avoid infection.
  • Laceration. This is a deep cut or tearing of your skin. Accidents with knives, tools, and machinery are frequent causes of lacerations. In the case of deep lacerations, bleeding can be rapid and extensive.
  • Puncture. This is a small hole caused by a long, pointy object, such as a nail or needle. Sometimes, a bullet can cause a puncture wound. Punctures may not bleed much, but these wounds can be deep enough to damage internal organs. If you have even a small puncture wound, visit your doctor to get a tetanus shot and prevent infection.
  • Avulsion. This is is a partial or complete tearing away of skin and the tissue beneath. Avulsions usually occur during violent accidents, such as body-crushing accidents, explosions, and gunshots. They bleed heavily and rapidly.


Primary Intention Wound Healing Process
Primary wound healing occurs when your tissue surfaces are closed by stitches, staples, skin glue, or steri-strips. A surgical incision that is closed by stitches is a good example. This sort of closure of the wound surfaces creates very little tissue loss and makes the wound healing process as quick and easy as possible.

Secondary Intention Wound Healing Process
Secondary intention happens when a wound has a great deal of lost tissue or is extensive and the edges can’t be brought together. An example would be a pressure ulcer. The wound healing process for secondary intention is different from primary intention in three ways:

  • Longer repair and healing time
  • Greater chances of scarring
  • Increased chance of infections
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