September 19, 2022

Acute vs Chronic Wounds

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Whether you’re a caregiver to a senior or just have elderly friends or relatives, it’s important to have a basic knowledge of caring for wounds. Elderly people are more susceptible to wounds due to more fragile skin, plus generally weaker immune systems slow the healing process.

It’s also vital to know the different types of wounds so you know what you can handle and what needs to be escalated.

CHC has a look at the differences between acute and chronic wounds and letsyou know when professional treatment is necessary.

Acute Wounds

Acute wounds occur on the skin suddenly, whether it be from a tear, puncture, incision, rupture, or irritation. Typical symptoms include pain, bleeding, and swelling. Basic first aid should be used to get the bleeding to stop and set the wound up for proper healing. This includes cleaning the wound with soap and water or hydrogen peroxide, then dressing it with gauze and bandages. If you have trouble stopping the bleeding or there’s a risk for infection (puncture wounds, an excess of dirt or dirty water in the wound, etc.), seek medical attention. Antibiotics (topical, oral, or both) may be prescribed so the wound heals without any complications.

Chronic Wounds

When an acute wound fails to heal properly, it can become a chronic wound. A chronic wound doesn’t have blood, oxygen, or nutrients being sent from the body to the injured area. Chronic wounds are at high risk of infection, severe inflammation, and a need for surgery. If you suspect a wound has reached the chronic stage, medical help is required, as a hospital stay may be necessary for effective treatment.

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