Blog Posts

Treatment for Wounds and Lacerations

Posted on Tue, Dec 01, 2015

If you or a loved one has experienced a wound or laceration, you may be in shock and wondering whether to go to the emergency department or urgent care. Treatment for wounds all depends on the location and the size of the cut.

Should I Go to the ED or Urgent Care?

Different kinds of injuries lead to different kinds of wounds including abrasions, lacerations, crush wounds, puncture wounds and avulsions. For something that is less than three inches, the patient can come to eMedical Urgent Care for immediate care and treatment. If the cut is longer than three inches or extremely deep, tendon or deep tissue may be damaged. In those cases, go to the ER so they can give more intensive repair including a possibly surgery.

At-Home Wound Care

For bleeding lacerations, before you make your way to urgent care or the ER (based on the location and size mentioned above), the first thing you should do is to apply direct pressure. Place a clean rag or gauze on the cut and hold pressure. If you can’t control the bleeding, don’t take the bandage off; rather, keep that one on and put another one on top. Ice can also be helpful in stopping the bleeding and can decrease swelling as well. If the wound is dirty, wash it with warm water and soap to remove any large particles of dirt and debris. Also, keep the injury elevated above the heart level to slow the bleeding. For treatment of wounds less than three inches, go to eMedical Urgent Care for a physical evaluation, proper cleaning of the cut and possible suture repair. However, if the bleeding “pulses,” this could indicate an artery has been cut, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Keep Wounds Clean and Dry

The best way to take care of a suture wound is to keep it clean and dry. When an area is wet, it doesn’t heal as well. If a bandage or it gets wet or dirty, change it. Also, watch for signs of redness, swelling or discharge which could indicate a sign of infection. Sunlight can inhibit the healing process, so keep the area covered and protected from ultraviolet light. If the cut doesn’t require stitches, the best at-home wound care is washing the area with soap and water regularly to clean out any germs. Put small amounts of antibiotics ointment on the wound to speed up the healing process as well. It's important to keep the area clean and dry to prevent scarring or infection.

Animal Bites

Dog, cats and human bites are considered puncture wounds and can introduce bacteria into the wound. This can lead to infection, so antibiotics are typically prescribed. If the bite was from a wild animal such as bats, snakes or rabid dogs, you may need a rabies vaccination from the ED.

Tetanus Concern

Tetanus is a bacteria that is found in dirt. If a victim is cut by a rusty nail, fence other questionable object, tetanus is commonly a concern. Adults should have a tetanus shot every 5 years to stay protected. eMedical Urgent Care conveniently offers the tetanus shot; in fact, the vaccine most commonly given in our offices is a combination of Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis, called the TDaP vaccine. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSP7mMzZkwg]

Walk-In Treatment

If you need medical attention for a non-life-threatening illness or injury, eMedical Urgent Care is open during the evening and weekend hours to treat walk-in patients. Treatment for wounds, cuts and lacerations is available at eMedical Urgent Care in Middletown and Berkeley Heights, NJ.

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Fall Sports: How to Recognize a Concussion

Posted on Thu, Sep 22, 2011

It’s a brisk fall afternoon. You’re sitting in the bleachers, watching your son’s JV football game. In the scuffle during a play he hits his head on the turf. You see him get up a bit slowly, but he shakes it off and lines up for the next play. Should you be concerned? It is estimated there are 3 million head injuries each year related to contact sports, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For teens and young adults aged 15 to 24 years, it is second only to motor vehicle accidents as the cause of traumatic brain injuries. Concussions can be caused by mild or more severe blows to the head. They may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Recently, more attention has been placed on recognizing and treating concussions earlier to decrease the risk of long-term neurological damage. The Signs of a Concussion Early signs of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Vision changes
  • Unequally sized pupils
  • Lack of awareness of surroundings
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Lack of coordination
If your child is injured and shows any of the above signs, he or she should stop participating in the sports activity immediately. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association requires that any student athlete who sustains a possible concussion or any loss of consciousness be removed immediately from play. A medical evaluation is required to determine if a concussion was sustained. If it’s determined that your child did have a concussion, he or she must be symptom-free for one week before he or she can return to play. You should seek immediate medical attention if your child’s symptoms persist for more than 10 minutes. If the symptoms are mild, such as mild headache, dizziness, nausea without vomiting or loss of memory for a few minutes, watch to see if the symptoms worsen. The physicians at eMedical Urgent Care can help determine if further care is needed. When to Go to the Emergency Department You should bring your child to the nearest emergency department if the injury involves:
  • Large cuts
  • Prolonged loss of consciousness
  • Severe headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to walk
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
What to Expect After a Concussion A few days to a few weeks after having a concussion your child might experience:
  • A persistent, low-grade headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Poor attention and concentration
  • Memory issues
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety and/or a depressed mood
  • Trouble sleeping

The recovery period for concussions can vary from patient to patient. Some may develop “post-concussion syndrome,” which can last weeks or months and includes chronic headaches, dizziness and nausea.  If your child sustains a more severe concussion, he or she should be seen by a neurologist in addition to your primary physician to manage ongoing care.

 

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