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What are Minor Injuries?
Minor injuries are non-fatal injuries that include minor cuts, burns, sprains or wounds requiring first aid followed by treatment at a minor injury unit.
Types of Minor Injuries
Minor Scrapes, Cuts and Abrasions
Scrapes, cuts and abrasions are usually minor and will heal with time.
- Wash the area with clean water.
- Stop bleeding by applying pressure on the wound with a sterile bandage or clean cloth.
Deeper cuts may need stitches to prevent bleeding and infection.
Burns are injuries to the skin caused by contact with heat, radiation, electricity or chemicals. Minor burns are usually smaller than 3 inches.
- Remove the person from the area to prevent further injury.
- Cool the burn to help soothe the pain with lukewarm water. Never use ice.
- Remove any clothing or jewellery from the burned area.
- Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
Your doctor may prescribe pain medications to manage pain and a soothing lotion for application.
Sprains, Strains and Minor Fractures
Sprains and strains are injuries affecting the muscles and ligaments. A sprain is an injury or tear of one or more ligaments that commonly occurs at the wrist, knee, ankle or thumb. A strain is an injury or tear to the muscle. Strains occur commonly in the back and legs.
Minor fractures are bone fractures with fractured pieces that are stable and well aligned. These type of fractures are often self-healing.
- Rest the affected area as more damage could result from the pressure on the injury.
- Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes every two to three hours during the day.
- Use an elastic bandage to minimize the swelling and provide support to the injured area.
- Elevate the injured area above heart level to help with swelling and pain.
Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain and inflammation. A period of bracing may be necessary.
A wound is a break in the skin caused by an injury (a cut or blow), surgery or conditions such as diabetes. Wound care involves controlling bleeding with a sterile cloth, cleaning the wound and dressing it with a bandage. Sometimes, wounds may get infected by bacteria or fungi and you may experience pain, swelling, redness and pus accumulation.
Discard the bandage and clean the wound with soap and water and a sterile cotton wool. Call your doctor and make an appointment to be seen.
Your doctor prescribes antibiotics or antifungal oral medications and ointments to manage an infection. A suitable dressing may be used to cover your wound. Tetanus vaccine is required to prevent infection caused by soil bacteria.
Pets and stray animals often bite people when they feel threatened. Animal bites may cause significant tissue damage such as a crushing injury or deep punctures, which can damage to the skin, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons.
Wash the wound using soap and water with light scrubbing and cover the wound with a clean bandage. Most bites should be assessed by a medical professional. Immediate attention is required when there is excessive bleeding or weakness and numbness in the area.
Your doctor will examine the extent of tissue injury and identify signs of infection. X-rays may be ordered to identify probable fractures or embedded foreign bodies. The wound is thoroughly irrigated with saline and your doctor removes any dead tissue. The area may be left open or closed with sutures depending on the location, extent of the injury and the likelihood of infection. Antibiotics and pain medications are usually prescribed. Immunization with tetanus or rabies vaccine is initiated.