Wounds can be caused by punctures and/or cuts to the body or by abrasions. In either case, the protection offered to the body by the skin has been breached. Without immediate treatment, the body is open to infection and to potentially serious consequences.


  1. Wash your hands
  2. Put on a pair of hypoallergenic disposable gloves.
  3. Take a large sterile dressing (3'' x 3'' or 4'' x 4'') and press it onto the wound to stem the bleeding.
  4. If possible, elevate the injured part.
  5. If the injury continues to bleed through the dressing, add more dressings.
  6. When the bleeding has stopped, bandage with a gauze bandage roll or adhesive tape
  7. After you clean the wound, apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream or ointment such as Neosporin or Polysporin to help keep the surface moist. These ointments will not make the wound heal faster, but they can reduce the chances of infection and help the body's natural healing process.
  8. If an object is embedded or impaled in the wound, do not remove it – stabilized it with additional bandages to prevent movement
  9. If a part of the body has been amputated: St. John's Ambulance states NOT to wash or soak the amputated part. The American Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross are silent on this point. The consensus appears to be not to wash or soak the amputated part. All state that the body part should be wrapped in clean gauze or cloth and then placed in a waterproof container such as a plastic bag. Keep the bag with the body part cool – but do not place the body part in direct contact with ice. Keep the body part with the victim and ensure it goes with ambulance or emergency personnel.

A puncture wound can lead to serious infection so the victim should ask about receiving a tetanus shot. If you don't know whether you're due for a tetanus shot, don't take any chances. Speak with your doctor. If the injury is from a human or animal bite, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

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