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    Puncture Wound Treatment

    Call 911 if the person is seriously injured or a puncture wound:

    • Bleeds excessively
    • Spurts blood
    • Does not stop bleeding after 10 minutes of firm pressure
    • Is to the chest, abdomen, or neck
    • Is accompanied by any emergency symptoms: severe pain, fast breathing or trouble breathing, vomiting, dizziness, unconsciousness
    • Is to the eye or in the throat. Leave the object in place. Keep the person calm.

    • Bleeds excessively
    • Spurts blood
    • Does not stop bleeding after 10 minutes of firm pressure
    • Is to the chest, abdomen, or neck
    • Is accompanied by any emergency symptoms: severe pain, fast breathing or trouble breathing, vomiting, dizziness, unconsciousness
    • Is to the eye or in the throat. Leave the object in place. Keep the person calm.

    Call or see a health care provider immediately if:

    • The object that caused the puncture wound cannot be easily removed
    • The puncture wound is deep, on the face, or touching bone
    • The wound is visibly dirty
    • The wound is an animal or human bite
    • The wound occurred through the bottom of a shoe -- stepping on a nail, for example

    1. Remove the Object if You Can

    • If the object that caused the puncture is small and you can easily remove it, do so.

    2. Stop the Bleeding

    • Apply firm, direct pressure with sterile gauze or clean cloth until bleeding stops.

    3. Clean and Protect the Wound

    • Rinse the wound under clean water for several minutes. Then wash the area with mild soap and water and rinse again.
    • Apply an antibiotic cream.
    • Use a sterile bandage to protect the puncture wound from dirt or further injury.

    4. Treat Pain

    5. Follow-up

    • See a healthcare provider for any signs of infection: redness, increasing pain, swelling, or pus at the site.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 28, 2016

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