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Types of Wounds

ABRASIONS– Abrasions are made when the skin is rubbed or scraped off. Rope burns, floorburns, and skinned knees or elbows are common examples of abrasions. This kind of wound can become infected quite easily because dirt and germs are usually embedded in the tissues.

INCISIONS– Incisions, commonly called cuts, are wounds made by sharp cutting instruments such as knives, razors, and broken glass. Incisions tend to bleed freely because the blood vessels are cut cleanly and without ragged edges. There is little damage to the surrounding tissues. Of all classes of wounds, incisions are the least likely to become infected, since the free flow of blood washes out many of the microorganisms (germs) that cause infection.

LACERATION– These wounds are torn, rather than cut. They have ragged, irregular edgesand masses of torn tissue underneath. Thesewounds are usually made by blunt, rather thansharp, objects. A wound made by a dull knife, for instance, is more likely to be a laceration than an incision. Bomb fragments often cause laceration. Many of the wounds caused by accidents with machinery are lacerations; they are often complicated by crushing of the tissues as well. Lacerations are frequently contaminated with dirt, grease, or other material that is ground into the tissue; they are therefore very likely to become infected.

PUNCTURES– Punctures are caused by objects that penetrate into the tissues while leaving a small surface opening. Wounds made by nails, needles, wire, and bullets are usually punctures. As a rule, small puncture wounds do not bleed freely; however, large puncture wounds may cause severe internal bleeding. The possibility of infection is great in all puncture wounds, especially if the penetrating object has tetanus bacteria on it. To prevent anaerobic infections, primary closures are not made in the case of puncture wounds.