Handling Cuts The Right Way

Handling Cuts The Right Way

Any cut, even a small one can become a major problem if not treated properly.  One needs to be wary of things, people, animals, and materials that can lead to a cut whether small or severe and knowing what to do when they occur can be the difference between recovery and tragedy.  We’ll look at prevention and remedy regarding cuts.

 

Step One: Prevention

Just about anything can cause a cut if one isn’t attentive enough.  We deal with far more cutting potential materials in the home or workplace than in nature itself.  Tools, utensils, pets, furniture, and anything with a sharp edge can cause a cut that can range from minor to severe.  Taking precautions beforehand will minimize the potential for a cut or slash.

Handling tools and utensils with care and respect is foremost.  No playing around with knives and sharp tools is paramount.  They’re designed for a purpose and clowning around with them is not prescribed.  We’ve all seen those videos of sushi chefs and other chefs who dazzle the eye with mind blurring speed.  Only professionals should handle utensils like this and kids are prime culprits in imitating such and can end up injuring themselves and others.  Establishing the proper use of utensils is essential and you must put you r foot down regarding their use.  For young people learning, take the time to teach how to use the utensil or tool and then how to clean it properly and store it properly.

Do not put forks and knives with the tongs or sharp point upright in a dishwasher bin.  People fall on opened dishwasher doors all the time or when reaching in to recover utensils will cut themselves.  Same with storing in drawers.  Put the knives and forks handles first toward the oping and don’t pile a bunch of utensils as whilst digging through them to pick what you want can bring about a cut.  Don’t drape napkins or cloths over knives and tools as someone who may need that washcloth or towel may not know what lies beneath and cut themselves.  Don’ place them precariously on the edge of tables an d counters as falling sharp knives and tools can cut on the way down or impale in a foot.

The same goes for tool boxes.  Don’t just dump tools in a drawer or toolbox.  Place them in their proper slots with handles down and clearly visible for easy and safe access.  Do not leave tools and utensils lying about either.  As for sharp materials like plastics, set them clearly visible and not where kids can get to them.  Don’t put broken glass in a garbage bin as some people push down on garbage to make room for new.  Take broken glass and put it in something you can mark clearly as broken glass.  Secure mirrors properly.  Us the right wall fasteners and don’t get lazy using tape or putty.  Always check kid’s toys and pet toys as they can develop sharp edges and points after wear and tear.

Always have several first aid kits easily located around the home, vehicle, and workplace and make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them as well as replace what has been used immediately.

 

If A Cut Happens

First thing to do when any cut occurs is to keep a cool head and address the problem accordingly.  There’s no emergency unless a large amount of blood issues forth.  Minor cuts can be compressed and dressed easily with simple anti-septics and bandages.  A bit of compression on the wound, adding anti-septics, and bandages should solve the problem.  For deeper cuts a whole new procedure needs to be undertaken.

For deeper cuts and slashes, one should call 911 immediately.  Try compressing the wound and cover with a sterile cloth or bandage and sit tight until help arrives.  Deep cuts will require stitches and if you take a smart stance at the start, it will allow for the medical professionals to do their jobs much more easily.  Don’t apply ointments or homemade remedies or you might risk exacerbating the problem and causing infection.

 

Don’t Out-Think Medical Professionals

When a deep cut occurs, don’t think you know more than the medical professionals.  The first step is to call 911 and listen to their instructions.  Before help arrives, the professionals on the phone may ask you questions and instruct you what to do.  Don’t argue or ask a million questions.  Just answer their questions and follow through with their advice.  They may ask you to do something outside of your knowledge and expertise and against some ideas of first aid that you’ve held as the right thing to do.  Today’s technologies are a vast improvement on what was standard just ten years ago.  New materials are employed as trial and error has given doctors a better insight into how to handle things.  Sure the fundamentals may be the same, but new products like extra-cellular matrix are now available.  This is a stem cell based technology gleaned from plants.  It’s applied to deep cuts and gashes and in a few minutes seals the wound and stops bleeding.  In a few days the wound is healed with little or no sign of trauma.  It’s a major breakthrough and can be found in medical kits throughout the country.  Soon it will be available for common folks to have at the ready.  Such advancements in medical treatments is proving to save life and limb and further such miraculous products are being tested.

 

Overall

Overall, quick thinking, a cool head, readily available first aid materials and following professional medical instructions, and most of all, keeping a preventative eye out for trouble are the ways to handle cuts of any size and severity.

 

About Dr Adam Blackwell

Adam Blackwell M.D. Author and Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU.
Dr Adam writes regularly for NBC med.