Sharps can be found anywhere, not just in hospitals and medical areas but also even at home. Injuries involving sharps are usually results of accidents and sudden movements.
They are avoidable with proper care and alertness, but no one has control of what’s going to happen; most of the time, they are unpredictable and of course, always unwanted.
Because accidents causing sharp injuries can occur, you must know the things you need to do when such mishaps happen. It is important that you know what to do rather than panicking.
Below are 8 things you need to remember and to do in case of sharp injuries. The unique thing about this piece is that it doesn’t only tell you what to do, but it also informs [and convinces] you why to do it, especially since sometimes, because of fear, overlooking and even laziness, some important steps are left undone. Now you’ll know the steps and you’ll know the significance of doing each.
1 – LET IT FLOW AND WASH IT
Let the wound bleed. Help it bleed. Doing so under water is also a great idea. Why? Diseases and infections can be transferred via the bloodstream, so it is important that you watch out for whatever situations you’d be in, involving the blood. Because it’s the means by which diseases can be transmitted, guard it well.
Allowing the wound to bleed underwater for a few minutes will prevent you from letting viruses and infectious particles penetrate completely, thus, lessening the chances of acquiring illness. Wash it while you let it bleed so that viruses will be ousted and their spread will be hindered. Do this immediately because they can easily get into your blood if you don’t act ahead of them.
2 – WASHING IS A YES, BUT SCRUBBING IS A NO-NO
It is very important to wash the area injured by used and contaminated sharps. Make sure you use a clean soap and clean water. It is so vital to use clean for your wound since adding more contamination to it is a crazy choice. Don’t just let the water clean it; you should clean it well by making sure that the soap and the water are properly applied to the wound.
But you have to remember that you shouldn’t rub and scrub it. Doing so might irritate the wound or open it wider, worsening it. Tissues in the affected areas might be destructed. Scrubbing will also increase pain and cause bleeding to continuously flow even when you already have to halt the bleeding.
3 – JUST DON’T SUCK
In movies, you’ve watched scenes wherein people suck the blood out of their wounds with the use of their mouths. For survival purposes and few other specific situations, it might be an option since you can remove germs on the surface and spit them out — but it is still not advisable! Most especially for sharps injuries, it can never be!
Don’t ever suck with your mouth the blood in your wounded body part if you don’t want the virus to come into your mouth instead. It’s a losing situation for you; it won’t help, especially if the wound’s depth is intense. Remember, blood is the way the infection moves from the sharps to any part of your whole body.
Sucking it out with your mouth and spitting it doesn’t change much of a thing since you still take in the blood for some time. Diseases like HIV and Hepatitis are communicated through saliva and blood transmission, so if you suck it out, you’re getting the worst of both worsts!
4 – ALTERNATIVES FOR WATER
In urgent cases wherein water and soap can’t be found around, alcohol-based rubs and solutions suitable and safe for the hands are the next options.
TV advertisements say that such products kill 99.9% of disease-causing germs. Trust that, rather than getting more germs than the estimated 0.1% alcohol-based hand solutions can leave you with. They can aid you prevent and/or push out the foreign elements that have come on or in your skin.
5 – DRY AND COVER
After cleaning the wound, make it dry then cover it. According to Orthopedic and Sports Institute of The Fox Valley, dressing the wound must only come after removing the moisture because doing so while it’s still damp can impede and slow the healing process. Germs might also form under the bandage if the wound is tightly covered.
6 – SEEK REAL HELP
If you got punctured with a used sharp, after all the personal acts, you are still advised to seek medical check-up and guidance. Go to the nearest hospital immediately after doing first aid. Your blood and urine will be tested.
7 – SEND THE NEWS UP
Tell your parent, your boss, your guardian that you’ve been pricked by a needle for an instance. Tell someone you’re left in-charge to. Tell those whom you have obligations to.
Don’t hesitate doing it so that they’ll also be alarmed, informed and that they might help you. It will also make them aware that you’re not in your best condition to function so well.
8 – DISPOSE PROPERLY
Don’t forget to throw out the contaminated sharp, so that no one else will be victimized by it. Make sure to put them properly inside sharps disposal containers. Don’t leave it just anywhere or else, it will be reused by others or kids will be able to reach it.
Hopefully, this piece has given you information relevant to preventing greater harms in sharp injuries. Because this isn’t just your typical step-by-step and helpful tips, you also are made aware why you should follow these — their benefits and the results if they’re not executed.
Remember to always be mindful and be careful while handling sharps.