Wound - cut or puncture; Open wound; Laceration; Puncture wound
A cut is a break or opening in the skin. It is also called a laceration. A cut may be deep, smooth, or jagged. It may be near the surface of the skin, or deeper. A deep cut can affect tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, or bone.
A puncture is a wound made by a pointed object such as a nail, knife, or sharp tooth.
Infection may occur with some cuts and puncture wounds. The following are more likely to become infected:
If the wound is bleeding severely, call your local emergency number, such as 911.
Minor cuts and puncture wounds can be treated at home. Take the following steps.
FOR MINOR CUTS
FOR MINOR PUNCTURES
Scarring is a complication of any wound. Prompt first aid and the prevention of infection reduce the amount of scarring.
Call 911 or your local emergency number if:
Call your health care provider right away if:
Keep knives, scissors, sharp objects, firearms, and fragile items out of the reach of children. When children are old enough, teach them to how to use knives, scissors, and other tools safely.
Make sure you and your child are up to date on vaccinations. A tetanus vaccine is generally recommended every 10 years.
Lammers RL, Smith ZE. Principles of wound management. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Roberts and Hedges' Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA. Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 34.
Simon BC, Hern HG. Wound management principles. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2018:chap 52.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/16/2017
Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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