OPEN WOUND CARE
OPEN WOUNDS CAN BE A DIFFICULT PROBLEM. WITH GOOD CARE, MOST WOUNDS WILL HEAL AND CLOSE WITHIN SEVERAL WEEKS. PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS BELOW, WHICH HAVE BEEN SELECTED BY YOUR SURGEON, FOR TREATING YOUR WOUND.
IF YOUR SURGEON HAS NOT CHECKED ONE OF THE DIRECTIONS, PLEASE CALL 253 572-7120
- NU-GAUZE PACKING: If you have undergone an incision and drainage of an infection, your surgeon will often pack the wound open with a thin strip of gauze called nu-gauze. This helps to control any bleeding from a freshly opened wound. Do change the gauze dressing covering the wound at least twice a day, and more often as needed. You should shower or bathe daily, cleaning your wound with soap and water, and gently pat dry. Use a heating pad or hot water bottle as often as possible, although not for perirectal wounds. Be very careful to avoid burning yourself. For perirectal wounds, use sitz baths, soak in warm water, 4 or more times each day. Starting the day after your packing was placed, remove 2-3 inches of the packing each day until it all comes out. Use scissors to cut off any excess. If it all falls out the first day, don't worry, that is not a problem. After the packing is out, continue to change the dressings and wash the wound as before. No Ointments or salves should be used.
- DRY GAUZE DRESSING: For this type of wound care you need to change the gauze dressing covering your wound at least twice daily, and more often as needed. You should shower or bathe daily, cleaning your wound with soap and water, and gently pat dry. Antibiotic ointments such as triple antibiotic, Polysporin, Neosporin, etc., may be applied to the wound 3 - 4 times per day. Do use a heating pad or hot water bottle as often as possible. Be very careful to avoid burning yourself.
- MOIST GAUZE PACKING: For this type of wound care you need to moisten 1 to 2 gauze sponges (occasionally just the corner of a gauze sponge is the right size) with saline, and lightly wring them out. You then gently pack the moist sponges or sponge corner, into the wound, and cover them with dry gauze sponges. This type of dressing should be changed 2-3 times daily. For one of your daily dressing changes you should shower or bathe, cleaning your wound with soap and water. If the packing gauze is sticking too tightly to be removed, try soaking it off in the bath or shower. No ointments or salves should be used. Do use a heating pad or hot water bottle as often as possible. Be very careful to avoid burning yourself.
You can make your own normal saline solution; 1 quart water plus 1 cup and 2 teaspoons of salt. Boil 15 minutes, cool and pour into a sterile container.