You are a vital member of the team who is responsible for ensuring that your wound heals in a safe and effective manner. Along with the care you receive from your physicians and nurses, it is important for you to take the time to follow their instructions at home so you can have the best outcome.

Along with the care you receive from your physicians and nurses, it is important for you to take the time to follow their instructions at home so you can have the best outcome.

General Wound Care

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Use non-sterile gloves if you are touching the wound or wound drainage. Change gloves after you touch old dressings or drainage, or if they are visibly soiled.
  3. If the dressing sticks, you may moisten it with saline to loosen it. Clean the wound with saline and a piece of gauze. Pat dry with a clean piece of gauze.
  4. Throw away old dressings in a plastic bag and throw the bag in the regular trash.
  5. Check wound for signs of infections which may include redness, swelling, warmth/heat, pain, or foul odor. Contact your doctor's office or wound care center if you notice these symptoms or have worsening pain or fevers.
  6. Apply solution, ointment, or dressings to the wound as directed. If you are using a wound packing, do not over-pack the wound. Make sure you love a long "tail" so the packaging can be easily removed at the next dressing change.
  7. Cover the wound with a secondary dressing, such as a rolled gauze, as needed. Secure with tape, avoiding taping the skin if possible.
  8. Wash your hands.