May 2, 2013 5:00 PM by Mary Elizabeth Dallas
THURSDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Spring and summer send lots of people outdoors to enjoy the warm weather, but experts say that also brings an increase in cuts, scrapes and puncture wounds.
In the event of these types of injuries, doctors from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center advised the first step to take is to assess if the wound is serious. Taking immediate action can help injuries heal faster and prevent infection. They noted, however, most often these injuries will not require a trip to the emergency department.
"There's definitely an increase in these types of injuries at this time of year," Dr. James Guerrini, medical director of Wake Forest Baptist Health Urgent Care, said in a medical center news release. "Fortunately, most of them are minor and can be treated effectively at home."
Simple first-aid is often enough to treat cuts and scrapes from outdoor activities. When treating a minor wound, the American College of Emergency Physicians offers the following tips:
"Cuts and scrapes are common, so everybody should know how to deal with them," Guerrini added. "Proper treatment administered quickly can prevent infection, promote healing and otherwise keep something minor from becoming something major."
In some cases, however, emergency medical attention is required. The U.S. National Institutes of Health advised seeking urgent care for the following:
A doctor should also be consulted about wounds that do not appear to be healing after 48 hours or injuries that are red, swollen, pus-filled or show other signs of infection.
The experts noted that getting the tetanus vaccine can help protect against the serious bacteria-borne illness that infects the body through cuts and puncture wounds. They pointed out that protection against tetanus doesn't last a lifetime and adults should get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years.
The American Academy of Family Physicians provides more first-aid tips for cuts and scrapes.