First-Aid: Types of Wounds

A wound is an injury or an abnormal break in the continuity of the skin or other tissues. In an external wound, there is danger that germs will enter the wound and cause an infection. If the wound is deep, severe bleeding may occur or there may be serious damage to structures within the body, such as the bowel, heart, lungs, or brain.


A wound may be open or closed. In the open wound skin is broken and blood escapes out. In a closed wound skin is not broken.



Cause. Friction or pressure of a rough object.
Features. A superficial injury involving only the outer layers of the skin. It is painful, but bleeds slightly or oozing.


Cause. Blunt force, e.g. stone, stick, or fist.
Features. It is red due to infiltration of blood into tissues. Skin over it is intact. It becomes blue, black, green, yellow and finally disappears with time.
If the area of bruising is very large, get medical help. Generally rest and local warmth are helpful in small bruises.


Cause. Blunt force, e.g. fall of roof, fall of a house, fall on a rough surface, rough spikes.
They aare much more difficult to treat and need medical attention *Stop bleeding by applying pressure. Only remove large and loose pieces of glass or other debris—otherwise leave this to the experts. This sort of injury particularly calls for tetanus protection.
Features. The skin and underlying tissues are torn. It has irregular edges and abrasion/jagged.

Incised wound

Cause. A weapon with a sharp cutting edge e.g., knife, razor, glass, etc.
Features. The edges of the wound are clean cut. It bleeds more than a laceration.
If less than 1 cm long, will probably heal well if you stop bleeding, pull edges together and apply adhesive dressing. Do not fiddle about with disinfectant. Wash your hands, clean the area around the wound, ensuring that no water gets into open wound, dry it carefully, then apply the dressing. Other incisions need stitches. Stop bleeding by applying pressure. Apply a dressing and bandage if you have them. Go to a doctor, if the bleeding is severe.

Punctured wound (stab wound)

Cause. A pointed weapon driven in through the skin, e.g. knife, nail, sharp tool, arrow, spear, dagger, bullet, needle etc.
Features. The opening is small, but the wound may be very deep. The vital organs of body may be injured through it. It is called a penetrating wound when there is only a wound of entry. It is called a perforating wound when there is a wound of exit too, as in the case of a gun-shot wound.
This wound may sometimes, seem trivial with very little bleeding.


Cause. Excessive force.
Features. A part of the body is completely torn away, e.g. finger, toe, hand, arm, foot, ear, nose, and penis.


1. Place the victim in a supine position.
2. Cover the wound with sterile gauze pad.
3. Apply pressure to control bleeding.
4. Apply a tourniquet if necessary.
5. Immobilize the part.
6. Treat shock.
7. Do not remove an object impacted in the wound.
8. Preserve avulsed part, as it may be possible to reattach it to the body by surgery.
9. Cover protruding organs like eyeball or bowel with a sterile sheet. Do not try to replace them.

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