Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children skin wound warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Abdominal Injury Skin Wound

Initial home care for a skin wound from an abdominal injury includes:

  • Apply direct pressure to control bleeding:
    • Use a gauze or clean cloth directly on the wound.
    • Maintain constant pressure for at least 10 minutes.
    • Do not interrupt the pressure, in order to look at the wound.
  • Clean the wound:
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Do not scrub the wound.
    • Remove dirt or foreign material from the wound.
    • Running water can help remove dirt.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound:
    • Use gauze or an elastic bandage.
    • Wounds to the face may be left uncovered.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Rest the injured area.
  • Elevate the injured area.

Ongoing home care for a skin wound includes:
  • Clean the skin gently:
    • 2-3 times a day
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Do not scrub the skin.
  • Wounds to the foot need special care:
    • Clean foot wounds three to four times a day
    • Wear an open shoe.
  • Gently clean scabs on the face with a soft cloth and hydrogen peroxide:
    • Try not to cause bleeding.
  • Dry the wound gently, and completely, with a clean towel or gauze.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound:
    • Use gauze or an elastic bandage.
    • Wounds to the face may be left uncovered.
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Ibuprofen for pain
  • Take prescribed medications as directed.

Tetanus Considerations
Tetanus shots (boosters) can be given up to three days after an injury, as long as you have had all your tetanus shots in the past. A tetanus booster seldom needs to be given right at the time of the wound. This is not an emergency and can be done in the doctor's office or clinic.

A tetanus shot is necessary right away if you have not had three tetanus shots at any time in your life.

You need a tetanus shot within three days for:
  • A dirty wound and you have not had a tetanus shot in the last five years
  • A clean, minor wound and you have not had a tetanus shot in the last ten years

Continue to Abdominal Injury Warning Signs

Last Updated: Nov 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Abdominal Injury References
  1. Gonzalez RP, Han M, Turk B, Luterman A. Screening for abdominal injury prior to emergent extra-abdominal trauma surgery: a prospective study. J Trauma. 2004 Oct;57(4):739-41. [15514526]
  2. Keller MS. Blunt injury to solid abdominal organs. Semin Pediatr Surg. 2004 May;13(2):106-11. [15362280]
  3. Poletti PA, Mirvis SE, Shanmuganathan K, Takada T, Killeen KL, Perlmutter D, Hahn J, Mermillod B. Blunt abdominal trauma patients: can organ injury be excluded without performing computed tomography? J Trauma. 2004 Nov;57(5):1072-81. [15580035]
  4. Sato M, Yoshii H. Reevaluation of ultrasonography for solid-organ injury in blunt abdominal trauma. J Ultrasound Med. 2004 Dec;23(12):1583-96. [1555730]
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