A wound is damage to body tissues that may be caused by pressure, injury, or surgery. Wounds may be bruises, scrapes, scratches, cuts, burns, pressure sores (pressure ulcers), or surgery incisions. To allow healthy tissue to heal and prevent more damage or infection, infected or damaged wound tissue is removed in a procedure called wound debridement. Wound debridement can be done by several different methods. They include surgical, chemical, mechanical, autolytic tissue removal, or maggot debridement therapy.
How can I take care of myself when I go home?
How long it takes to get better depends on the cause of your wound, your treatment, how well you recover, your overall health, and any complications you may have.
Your provider will give you a list of your medicines when you leave the hospital.
Know your medicines. Know what they look like, how much you should take each time, how often you should take them, and why you take each one.
Take your medicines exactly as your provider tells you to.
Carry a list of your medicines in your wallet or purse. Include any nonprescription medicines and supplements on the list.
Talk to your provider before you use any other medicines, including nonprescription medicines.
Your provider may prescribe medicine to:
Treat or prevent an infection
Treat other medical conditions which may be preventing your wound from healing
You may need to continue a wound treatment program after you leave the hospital to help you learn to care for the wound.
To care for your wound:
Keep your wound clean.
If you are told to change your dressing on your wound, wash your hands before changing the dressing and after disposing of the dressing.
Follow your provider’s instructions for follow-up appointments and routine tests.
Talk with your provider about any questions or fears you have.
Diet, Exercise, and Other Lifestyle Changes
Follow the treatment plan your healthcare provider prescribes.
Get plenty of rest while youâ€™re recovering. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Eat a healthy diet.
Exercise as your provider recommends.
Don’t smoke. Smoking increases poor blood circulation and may delay wound healing.
Follow activity restrictions, such as not driving or operating machinery, as recommended by your healthcare provider or pharmacist, especially if you are taking pain medicines.
Call your healthcare provider if you have new or worsening:
Bluish color of the skin below your debridement site
Dehydration, which means losing too much fluid from your body
Pain or other symptoms that are not well controlled with your medicine
Signs of infection around your surgical wound. These include:
The area around your wound is more red or painful.
Your wound area is very warm to touch.
You have blood, pus, or other fluid coming from the wound area.
You have a fever higher than 101.5Â° F (38.6Â° C). If pregnant, a fever higher than 100Â° F (37.8Â° C).
You have chills or muscle aches.
Ask your healthcare provider about any medicine, treatment, or information that you do not understand.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Acute Care Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-07-30 Last reviewed: 2014-07-31
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.