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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
It is very easy to get a leg injury even in a domestic environment. Damage is often open. In general, everyone knows how to treat a cut on a leg, but in fact there are many more nuances.
Features of the injury
A cut is a long, relatively shallow, soft tissue injury caused by sharp objects, accompanied by bleeding. It is precisely the shallow depth with the greater length that distinguishes such an injury from a stab injury. Another distinguishing characteristic is the presence of an even edge, that is, the absence of torn tissue damage.
Very often people are faced with cuts on their legs. You can get it almost anywhere: at home, at work, on the street, in transport. Most often, small wounds remain after using a razor, working in the garden, and outings. Much more serious are injuries sustained at work or construction, during sports, in an accident and in other accidents.
A sharp object such as glass can damage deep tissues and large blood vessels. It is important to be able to properly provide assistance to the victim in order to prevent complications.
Such injuries are classified according to several criteria. According to the depth of penetration, they are distinguished:
- Scratches. Only the top layer of the skin is touched, blood loss is minimized. In most cases, they do not leave marks or they dissolve over time;
- Shallow. Injury to the skin that does not extend to muscle tissue. Scars remain, but no particular harm is done to the body;
- Deep. Muscles and internal organs are affected, which is very life-threatening and requires long-term treatment.
If the damage is deep, many vessels are affected, but in fact, the area of the wound is more important. Close to the surface are important blood vessels, including large veins and arteries. It is very easy to touch an artery on the leg, which is extremely life-threatening.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that a significant number of nerve endings are concentrated in the upper tissues, and therefore long wounds cause great pain, even during the healing process.
Separately, you need to distinguish between the cut of the tendon. The injury can be in the knee or groin area, but the ankle is more commonly affected. After such an injury, the limb may lose its initial mobility.
In some cases, the further development of events and the success of treatment subsequently depend on how correctly the first aid was provided. Wasted minutes can lead to complications, including disability and even death.
Any cut is accompanied by bleeding. It is on this factor that you need to pay the most attention. It is also important to prevent wound infection and further tissue damage.
First aid for a cut leg:
- Rinse the wound with clean water, remove foreign particles: debris, glass fragments, etc.
- Treat with an antiseptic. It is optimal to use hydrogen peroxide, it disinfects, slows down bleeding, and does not interfere with the examination of the wound in the future;
- Apply a sterile tight bandage across the incision. If the artery is damaged, first you need to stop the bleeding by applying a tourniquet above the wound;
- Immobilize the limb to prevent the dehiscence of the wound edges.
After providing first aid for serious injuries, you should immediately go to the hospital. It is recommended to call an ambulance in advance. If suturing is necessary, seek help within the first 6 hours after injury. After a day, the restoration of tissue integrity by surgery loses its meaning and becomes impossible due to the development of necrotic processes and the formation of blood clots.
Also, you cannot do without medical help if the victim has not been vaccinated against tetanus. In this case, even a small scratch can be fatal from infection.
If the cut is deep, the wound will be sutured at a medical facility. In case of serious damage, the connection of nerve endings, vessels and tendon fibers is performed. Minor injuries can be treated at home if there are no complications.
For better healing and prevention of infection, it is necessary to periodically change the dressing and treat the wound with an antiseptic. Additionally, special ointments can be used, they accelerate tissue regeneration and create a protective barrier against pathogenic microorganisms. Another plus of such drugs is that wet wounds subsequently scar less, that is, the scar becomes less noticeable. In addition, when changing the dressing, it will be easier to separate the material from the skin, without provoking re-bleeding.
With deep cuts, especially if it was not possible to suture, it is required to provide drainage to drain secretions: blood, ichor, pus, etc. Drainage tubes are inserted into the wound, washed with an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory drugs, if necessary.
Complications and prognosis
If you follow the recommendations and act quickly, it is quite possible to avoid unpleasant consequences. Most cases of minor trauma result in a person's complete recovery, even without special medical intervention.
Complex injuries, especially when penetrating under the skin, are fraught with the development of complications. The following scenarios are possible:
- Inflammation and infection. Minor hyperemia and swelling in the area of soft tissue damage is the norm for any injury. If the leg is severely swollen, sore, throbbing and burning, this may indicate the development of inflammation. In case of infection, symptoms can be supplemented by a general deterioration in well-being, intoxication, and high fever. Pathogenic microorganisms begin to multiply, enter the bloodstream, provoking the development of an abscess or sepsis;
- Tetanus. Even a small cut can cause tetanus. The infection provokes spasms and disruption of the nervous system. There is a high risk of death or disability of the patient;
- Suppuration. Inflammation with the vigorous activity of bacteria can turn into a purulent process. Pus is the result of the vital activity of pathogenic microorganisms, tissue decomposition and the struggle of leukocytes with foreign agents;
- Blood loss. If the bleeding is not stopped after damage to a large vessel, blood loss can become critical and lead to death. Arterial bleeding is especially dangerous, since in a few minutes you can lose the maximum permissible blood volume, and it is not easy to stop it;
- Loss of sensitivity. Disruption of the work of nerve endings, their damage leads to a decrease in sensitivity. Sometimes the opposite effect is possible;
- Immobilization of a limb. This is mainly due to damage to the nerves that regulate the movement of the limbs, as well as ligaments and tendons with the same glass. Both partial and complete immobilization, that is, disability, is possible;
- Necrosis resulting from extensive infection and tissue rejection. This is the so-called gangrene. It is rather difficult to treat it - it is possible only in a hospital. Often gangrene causes amputation of the affected limb.
Insufficient disinfection, violation of sanitary standards during treatment, untimely assistance - all this increases the risk of developing such complications.
Cuts cannot be completely prevented, as they are often the result of negligence or accident.
In order to reduce risks, it is necessary to adhere to the following recommendations:
- Handle sharp objects as well as fragile materials such as glass with extreme caution;
- Watch your step, especially if you are walking barefoot;
- When depilation, keep the razor blade at the correct angle, do not make longitudinal movements;
- When working with dangerous objects, especially tools, observe the safety rules, use protective clothing.
Since accidents and various domestic injuries are difficult to predict and prevent, you can get injured at any time.
After the cut, be sure to treat and bandage, and if necessary, seek medical attention. Your reasonable actions can prevent negative consequences!