When a person sustains an open chest wound, it is imperative to clean and maintain the area as soon as possible. Having this type of injury will lead to infection without proper care, so follow these steps for optimal results.
Stop The Bleeding
The first thing we recommend you do is to stop the bleeding. There are two ways to go about this, depending on how much time you have and what tools are at your disposal. If it’s a spurting wound that can be controlled with direct pressure for ten minutes or so, then just apply firm but gentle pressure directly over the wound until the bleeding stops. If you don’t have time for direct pressure, use a clean towel to put some gentle pressure on the wound and apply an elastic bandage over it (you can also get these from your local drug store).
Cleaning The Wound
The most important thing you can do is to clean the wound. If there are any foreign objects, such as dirt or glass still in it, this will help prevent infections. There are also chest seals available that you can check out at https://www.sammedical.com/products/sam-chest-seals. Be sure not to scrub too hard with a cloth though because that may actually move some of the dirt deeper into your skin and cause more problems later on.
You should never use a washcloth with rough surfaces to clean the wound because it can cause more damage. Soaking your cloth in warm soapy water will help you get all of the dirt and germs out that much better, then just rinse it well under running tap water until there is no soap left on the surface of it.
Treating The Wound
There are several different ways to treat an open chest wound, depending on the circumstances you’re in and how bad it is. If your bleeding isn’t too severe then applying a clean dressing with direct pressure for ten minutes or so (and keeping it there until the bleeding stops) should suffice. You can also use clean gauze and apply firm pressure over the dressing for about ten minutes.
Of course, if your wound is particularly bad then you should go to a hospital immediately because you might need surgery or stitches to prevent further damage from occurring. If it’s not that severe though, some home remedies can work just as well.
The best way to prevent an open chest wound is to take good care of yourself. Be sure you’re eating right, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep every night so that your body can be at its healthiest when something unexpected happens. If you do get injured then make sure that you clean the wound immediately afterward because it will make a big difference in the long run.
Make sure to place a dressing that is absorbent, sterile, and non-adherent on the open chest wound area. This will help reduce tension when placing tape or stitches over the site of injury. Also, make sure you are not taping too tightly as this can restrict blood flow to surrounding tissues which could impair healing.
A clean and well-maintained wound is a healthy one. It helps to prevent infection from setting in, which can be very dangerous for our bodies. With that being said, it’s extremely important to take good care of your open chest wounds as you recover from the injury or surgery that caused them.