Clean a Post-Surgical Wound at Home
Edited by Olivia, Eng, Lynn, Robbi and 2 others
Upon discharge from a hospital, you or a loved one may have a surgical wound called an incision. This incision needs to be cleaned and dressed every day to promote healing and prevent infection.
Dressing and cleaning the wound will also provide the opportunity to assess the development of the wound - whether it's healing or infected or worse, the wound could become dehiscent.
Healing a Post-Surgical Wound at Home
Not all surgical wounds are cleansed and dressed as in the mentioned steps above. There are some surgical wounds that that require attention from people with special training, instructions and materials. It is highly recommended that post-surgical wounds be dressed and cleansed according to proper instruction from a health care professional.
The Stages involved in the Wound-Healing Process
- 3Wound Maturation.
Things You'll Need
Seeing the stitches may make you a bit wary of touching it, and more so of cleaning it. A nurse or a doctor can show you how to clean it before you are discharged, but you may not be up to the task of doing it. Unless you have someone there who'll do it for you, you need to get over your squeamishness, and do it. Your wellness relies upon it.
Arrange and prepare the following materials you'll need to treat your wound at home.
- Cotton soaked in sterile water or cooled boiled water
- Syringe without the needle
- Sterile forceps or tweezers. To sterilize forceps or tweezers, bring a small amount of water in a pan to boil. Soak the forceps or tweezers in the water right after boiling. Carefully remove the instruments and place them on a clean, dry cloth.
- A cotton swab, soaked in povidone solution, antibacterial, or a solution prescribed by your physician.
- Dry gauze
- Adhesive plaster
- Trash bin or a Trash bag
Steps to Cleaning and Dressing a Surgical Wound
- 1Remove all jewellery from your hands then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Take time to clean in between the fingers and the nails to ensure that you will not be introducing microorganisms to the instruments that you will be holding while dressing the person's wound.Wash your hands.
- 2Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dryer.
- 5If scab formation is already in process, do not try to remove the scab forcefully. You may also see the old dressing adhere to the wound because of dried drainage. Do not pull the dressing. Instead, get the syringe without the needle, and fill with sterile water. Direct the syringe with water to the wound where the dressing is adhered to the wound because of dried drainage. Push the plunger to release the water onto the wound to help loosen the dressing. Continue until the old dressing falls off.Very carefully remove the old dressing from the wound.
- 6If the wound has pus or drainage, drain the pus first, using a dry cotton ball or gauze. If the wound seems to have opened up rather than begun healing, notify the physician immediately.When you've removed the old dressing, inspect the wound for pus and unpleasant discharge.
- 7If you do not have gloves, use the sterile forceps or tweezers. Clean the wound using the inner-to-outer principle, or from the cleanest to the dirtiest part.After the pus or other drainage has been dried, clean the wound using cotton soaked in sterile water or cooled boiled water.
- 9Seal and dispose of properly to avoid transmission of infection.Dispose of the soiled dressings in an appropriately labeled trash bin or bag.
One of the most dangerous complications of a healing would is sepsis. Sepsis occurs when in order to fight the infection, the body releases chemicals. These chemicals get into the bloodstream and cause a dangerous inflammatory response throughout the entire body. With that in mind, it's essential to keep an eye open for the signs of sepsis.
Signs of Sepsis Include
- Confirmed infection
- Abnormal temperature (below 96.8° or above 101° Fahrenheit).
- Increased heart rate exceeding 90 beats per minute
- Rapid breathing (more than 20 breaths per minute)
If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Health & Wellness
Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Robbi, Lynn