Americans are cooking at home more than ever these days, thanks to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and stay-at-home mandates issued to stop their spread. In fact, over half of us report that we’re in the kitchen more these days, with about a third of us seeking elaborate cooking projects to fill our hours nad occupy our minds.
Unfortunately, plenty of people are new to chopping and cutting — which means more burns, cuts, and lacerations. If your knife skills are a little lacking, take a few moments now to learn how to deal with a severe cut.
1. The Panic Sets In Before the Pain
When you hurt yourself badly, the first thing you feel is often panic rather than pain. That true whether it’s a severe cut, a nasty knock to the noggin, or a bad burn. It might even be a while before your injury begins to hurt, because shock sets in quickly.
However, shock won’t prevent fear, anxiety, and panic from flooding your system. So when the knife slices through your finger or the broken glass slashes your foot, the very first thing to do is to take a deep breath.
Then keep taking them as you move on and deal with the laceration.
2. Next, Take Steps to Stop the Bleeding
Blood blooms pretty quickly from a cut. That means it can be difficult to determine how deep or serious it might be. So the first order of business is to stanch the bleeding.
Right away, grab some paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and press it against the cut. Don’t reach for a dirty towel or piece of clothing if you can help it; germs on dirty fabric can enter your system and lead to infection.
Press firmly. Putting pressure on the wound will help slow and stop the flow of blood. If possible, elevate the body part that has been injured above your head.
3. Check to See If It’s a Severe Cut
Minor lacerations will heal on their own. If your cut stops bleeding within a few minutes, you can wash and bandage it and get back to your coq au vin.
If you see any of the following signs, on the other hand, your laceration needs to be checked out at an urgent care center near you:
- Unchecked bleeding
- A laceration that’s right on the joint
- A laceration that is gaping open and can’t be pulled shut
- Visible subcutaneous fat (a yellowish substance)
- Visible muscle or bone
In these instances, it is likely that you will require stitches or other treatment, such as surgical glue, to close the cut.
4. Practice Aftercare
The medical professionals who treat you will give you instructions for keeping the wound clean and taking care of it. Follow those to a T. This will help you heal quicker and prevent infection and other complications.
If you do see symptoms of infection, don’t chance it — head back to the doc ASAP.
No matter how you’re dealing with the stress of Pandemic 2020, whether it’s cooking up a delicious gourmet meal or taking up a hobby to pass the time, it is important to stay safe! Take precautions to keep yourself from getting injured, but if you do suffer a severe cut or another emergency, follow these tips and you’ll fare just fine.
Heading to urgent care? Here’s what to know before you go.