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Ways of treating a skin flap

October 9th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Ways of treating a skin flap)

A skin flap is a healthy skin that is partly disconnected and moved to cover a wound. It may contain skin and fat or skin, fat and muscle. Sometimes a skin flap is still connected to its original area and one end still connected to a blood vessel. A flat can be moved to a new area and the blood vessel that is still attached to the flap is surgically reconnected which is called a free flap. The area from where the flap is taken is called the donor site. After the surgery, there will be two wounds, the graft or flap and the donor area.

Treatment

  • Clean hands properly before touching the area to prevent the risk of infecting the wound. Wash hand thoroughly using soap and water and wear sterile latex gloves.
  • Stop the bleeding by pressing a sterile pad or dressing over the area. Apply a steady pressure on the wound. Use Telfa dressings or non-adhesive gauze. If bleeding seep through the dressing, place gauze on top of it until the bleeding has stopped.

    skin-flap

    Stop the bleeding by pressing a sterile pad or dressing over the area.

  • In case the wound is on the limb elevate the area to lessen the flow of blood to the affected area. If on the arm, raise the area while placing pressure.
  • Rinse the area around the wound using cool water to remove any debris.
  • Clean the wound using saline solution to make the skin elastic and making it easier to reconnect the border of the wound. Saline solution is made by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt to a cup of water. Boil the mixture for at least 15 minutes. Let it cool.
  • Remove any debris in the wound using a tweezers. Sterilize the tweezers using rubbing alcohol before using them.
  • Before applying dressing on the wound, apply a thin layer of prescribed antibiotic ointment or cream. The cream or ointment keeps the area moist; lessen the risk of developing infection and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply dressing or covering over the wound to keep the affected area clean and lessen the risk of developing infections. Use Telfa or the soft silicone-coated dressings. Change dressings regularly at least once every day.
  • Once the wound is already healed and there is no risk of developing an infection, remove the dressing, and leave the area uncovered. Expose the area to the air for fast healing of the condition.
  • Take the prescribed pain medication to lessen the pain and the swelling.
  • If possible elevate the wound above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling. Another alternative is raising the area in couple of pillows to keep it elevated.

Tips

  • Avoid performing movements that cause stretching or injuring the flap or graft.
  • Avoid scratching or picking the wound as it heals to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
  • When taking a bath or showering, cover the affected area using a plastic bag to keep it dry.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a skin flap is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this type of skin wound, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Dealing with hypothermia

October 9th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with hypothermia)

Hypothermia is a condition where the temperature of the body drops down. This condition usually happens due to severely cold temperatures especially during winter season. The temperature of the body is below 95 degrees F and when it becomes severe, it goes down to 82 degrees F. If the condition is not properly treated it will result to total malfunction of the heart, respiratory system, nervous system and eventually death.

Causes of hypothermia

  • Wearing clothes not properly suited, not warm enough for the given cold weather condition.
  • Incapable of getting out of wet clothes
  • Staying in cold for long periods of times
  • Falling accidentally in cold water

    hypothermia

    Wrap the affected person in warm blankets, coats or towels whatever is available.

  • Inadequate heating measures at home

Symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Shivering
  • Nausea
  • Feeling hungry
  • Confusion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Weak pulse
  • Fatigue
  • Fast heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing

 

Treatment

  • If the person was in the water move the affected person out of the cold gently, avoid excessive movement to prevent cardiac arrest. Avoid rubbing or massaging the body to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
  • Wrap the affected person in warm blankets, coats or towels whatever is available.
  • Observe the breathing pattern of the person, if it is too slow; begin applying CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately.
  • Warming the blood, this is done by taking the blood out, warmed up and then circulated again in the body by using a dialysis machine. Another alternative is using warm intravenous solution of salt water which can be injected to warm the blood.
  • Let the person sip warm, non-alcoholic and caffeine-free liquid such as warm milk, broth, soup and decaffeinated tea to prevent dehydration and is good for the condition. Consume carbohydrate rich foods to give energy into the bloodstream and build up heat as the body metabolizes it.
  • Sip a cup of warm ginger tea to stimulate blood flow in the area and warm the body. Drink ginger tea 3-4 times every day with a gap of time of 30-45 minutes.

Tips

  • Check the weather forecast before going out, but sometimes forecast can be wrong and be prepared for the situation. Set up a shelter.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Layering is a way of protecting the body from hypothermia. Wear several layers of clothing and bring extras just in case there is a need for them. Wear layers of socks and gloves to protect the hands and feet from frostbite. Avoid wearing cotton clothes in cold weather, it holds moisture against the body and makes the condition worse.
  • Use sleeping bags for cold temperature.
  • Keep the body dry as much as possible to prevent moisture such as sweating by overexerting the body. It causes dropping of body temperature and becomes cold again and worsens the condition.

More Information

The details posted on this page on hypothermia is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this cold-related ailment, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.