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Does this chainsaw wound need stitches?

sb47

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Er doc gave me this for my amputated finger Xeroform Occlusive Petrolatum Gauze Patch

to cover my open wound to keep the gauze from sticking and it has an antibiotic in it to help stop an infection. I'd see a Dr. just to get a script of antibiotics. I know 2 people that died from an infection of a simple wound. Both were young, in the 40's.
This stuff has worked great on my wound and I'm gonna keep some in the first aid kit from now on. Hope it heals with no issues.

 
softdown

softdown

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I've had good luck, for the past couple decades, soaking wounds in saltwater using mixes such as Instant Ocean. For 15-20 minutes or more if the wound is deep. The density of saltwater is the same as our blood - which may say something about our evolution. Saltwater has iodine and, of course, salt.

I decided to try it after noting that I have never seen a bacterial infection on a saltwater fish.

Not saying this beats a hospital but a hospital trip may not always be possible. How much experience do I have treating my wounds? More than I should. My arms usually have several small scabs.
 

sb47

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I've had good luck, for the past couple decades, soaking wounds in saltwater using mixes such as Instant Ocean. For 15-20 minutes or more if the wound is deep. The density of saltwater is the same as our blood - which may say something about our evolution. Saltwater has iodine and, of course, salt.

I decided to try it after noting that I have never seen a bacterial infection on a saltwater fish.

Not saying this beats a hospital but a hospital trip may not always be possible. How much experience do I have treating my wounds? More than I should. My arms usually have several small scabs.
When we were kids my brother had bad sores on his lower legs all the time. We would go to the beach and swim and his legs would clear up. Something about the salt water made him heal.
 
Matt Coolen

Matt Coolen

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Man...I got flashbacks when I saw that wound! I had nearly the same wound across my left knee cap, about 13 years ago. Clearing our house lot off, end of the day, thinking how I'm getting tired. Few small scraggly spruce in front of me, so I decided to lop em off. As I did, a couple came my way, pushed the still turning, freshly sharpened 20" bar and chain on my 038 onto the knee. Never felt a thing. Only wearing jean's... tore a strip of flesh out, about the length of my index finger and 1/2" wide...4 inside stitches and 4 out. Took a super long time to heal and I couldn't bend my knee for 2 months. Ended up walking off balance and hurting my right knee because of it. Have two pair of very nice cutting pants now tho....lol
 
pdqdl

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Ouch. You might want to have that looked at ASAP. If not, flood with dilute betadine or H2O2 (but not too long), rinse with dh20 or saline, dry, Neosporin and put a couple of butterflies on it and cover with a clean bandage. Any sign of infection, go to the doc.

A bit late for following my advice, but there is always next time... :rolleyes:

Yeah, I would have done something like that too. Peroxide is ok, betadyne is great, but plain old soap and water work fine too. The neosporin is also great, but in my experience, it prevents the skin from binding together quickly.

If you are going to skip the stitches that are obviously needed, you ought to do this for any cut you get: wash it good, betadyne & peroxide are fine if you got 'em. Then pat nice and dry, and close the wound with butterfly closures. THEY DON'T HOLD LONG IF YOUR SKIN IS WET, or kept wet with any ointment!

Then, having gotten a nice clean, dry closure, hit the wound with a few drops of superglue as well. If it is a jagged cut, then you really ought to run down to the doctor and get it fixed up right. (yours looked fine)

Then put a really good absorbent bandage over it, and then don't bend that knee! If the wound keeps getting ripped open, you will have a huge scar and a very slow healing time. At the very best. You also have a much greater risk of acquiring an infection that can eventually turn out very badly. 200 years ago, folks died all the time from minor cuts like that.

After care should include daily inspections. A little red around the edges is to be expected, but any significant swelling, redness spreading from the injury, or a purulent discharge? Trot on down to the doctor and get ready for the stitches, antibiotics, and tongue lashing that you deserve for not patronizing the doctor sooner.

After 2 days or so, applications of neomycin may accelerate the healing, but they also soften the scab holding the skin together and encourage your non-stitched wound to fall apart.

I gigged myself below the knee a few years back with the spur on my Silky pole saw, and it was deep and about 1.25" wide. I did the home treatment on that, and it was looking great until I put on the neomycin too soon. The butterfly stitches didn't hold, and it ended up healing rather slowly. I'd have been fixed up and done with it in 10 days, had I gotten the stitches. I had no infection, and I did just fine without wasting any coin or time on a doctor.
If you are a tree worker of any sort, you tend to be the kind of person that takes risks anyway. What is just one more cut?

If you have a long history of not getting infections, I think I might have done without the stitches, too. Conversely, if your cuts tend heal slow and you get infections all the time, you ought to go see the doctor right away. After about 6 hours of delay, they generally do what is called "debridement", which essentially means that they enlarge your cut and trim out any damaged/dirty/exposed tissues. And then they put in stitches or staples. Staples are faster, cheaper, and sometimes heal quicker. They also hurt like hell when you bump them, and I think that would be a real problem right on the bend of a knee.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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I rarely keep any cut or wound covered except initially. Once the bleeding clots or stops, I leave it open to the air as much as possible always.

Yes. The open air process is best for establishing a scab that holds the wound closed. This is the best way to keep the injury from opening up again.

That being said, when the scab starts being itchy or thick and troublesome, cover it back up and put on the neomycin/petroleum ointment. This softens the scab, and allows the cells that actually build the scar tissue to penetrate the scab quicker and you heal faster.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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I've had good luck, for the past couple decades, soaking wounds in saltwater using mixes such as Instant Ocean. For 15-20 minutes or more if the wound is deep. The density of saltwater is the same as our blood - which may say something about our evolution. Saltwater has iodine and, of course, salt.

I decided to try it after noting that I have never seen a bacterial infection on a saltwater fish.

Not saying this beats a hospital but a hospital trip may not always be possible. How much experience do I have treating my wounds? More than I should. My arms usually have several small scabs.

Saltwater fish get lots of infections. They pass diseases around just like people do. They also get eaten by something else pretty quickly if they start to slow down from feeling ill.

It's just that tree guys usually aren't getting cut where the infectious saltwater bacteria are located. The bacteria that hang out in forests & urban settings generally aren't well adapted to salt water either, so there might be something to be said for the saltwater treatments that have been suggested.

As far as that goes, I don't recall too many human pathogens that are spread around in salt water either, and that is based on courses I took in pathogenic microbiology quite a few years back.
 
CentaurG2

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If you have a long history of not getting infections, I think I might have done without the stitches, too. Conversely, if your cuts tend heal slow and you get infections all the time, you ought to go see the doctor right away. After about 6 hours of delay, they generally do what is called "debridement", which essentially means that they enlarge your cut and trim out any damaged/dirty/exposed tissues. And then they put in stitches or staples. Staples are faster, cheaper, and sometimes heal quicker. They also hurt like hell when you bump them, and I think that would be a real problem right on the bend of a knee.
Meh, we just throw some maggots into the wound. They do a good job at clearing out any dead tissue. In a pinch, water block tough strip band aids make great butterflies. The stick almost too well and can be tough to get off.
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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Certainly true about the maggots, but not very practical underneath your pants walking around. You'll crush the little buggers, and they will fall down onto your socks anyway.

Little known fact about fly maggots: most of them don't eat the healthy tissue of the critter they are feeding upon. They are great at slurping up the necrotic tissues and exudate that are lining the nasty wound, though. That includes much of the bacteria involved with an old wound, too. Sadly, they really won't do any good at all for a systemic infection, nor one that is mostly cellulitis. The maggots just clean up the edges.

I have much more experience with maggots & neglected wounds that most doctors. Your average MD in the USA never sees any on their patients, but folks involved with animal husbandry & veterinary medicine see 'em all the time in the more temperate season.
 
5backacres

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there's a very short window when you can use steristrips something like 20 minutes when the laceration sides of the cut will heal back quickly to it self readily. ideally wash with normal saline ASAP , GET A TETNAUS SHOT! and 1 every 9-10 years. sutures are a necessity if bleeding won't stop. Check with your family Doc. or go online for a wound care sheet/ check with First responders if you know any but most of the things we used to use Peroxide, iodine etc. will decrease the healing ability of the tissue edges. Hence They'll debride and suture to get new tissue edges.
Steristrips and butterflys work but it's best to take care of the wound initially.
 
ATpro

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Having been a Market Manger and Meat Cutter for 45 years I have seen a number of cuts, and that one from what I see needed stitches, but after a time it's to late. Most within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours after the injury.
We used the old stand by Super Glue on most small cuts. We first controlled the bleeding, then washed the cut with a sanitize solution we used in our market (it killed all bacteria that was harmful to humans), then used peroxide wash on the cut. After we dried the cut we would close the cut and apply the Super Glue. The deal, is before you close the cut you need to make sure the cut is germ free.
At this point it's to late for stitches, I would bathe it in peroxide, if a scab has started keep it covered with a gauze pad and use a peroxide wipe on it 2 times or so times daily. The peroxide will help dry the scab out and promote healing. Be sure you observes the cut for any infection and if you see any get your butt to the Doc pronto. Where the cut is you don't need to mess around.
 

MFV

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Took my chaps out of the truck for a swap meet and forgot to put them back or I'd had them on. So i am falling a small tree trying to keep it inside a fence line doing 1 of my trick cuts about 4 to 5 foot up on the stump at steep angle so the butt would slide down to the ground and it would fall short of the fence. Learned the hard way why not to cut up high like that. The butt coming down sent the 025 downward also and the blade bounced off my knee before the chain stopped. If I had chapps on ,pretty sure it would have stopped chain . To many no no,s on my part.
Bleeding has stopped now that i ve been reclined for the night. Was bleeding enough to soak through the bandage and wet the whole knee area of my pants when i was actively doing some evening chores
No wrap it with electrical tape replace it every couple days eventually the glue will set up and it will stop bleeding
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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View attachment 890777

View attachment 890778


That must be an Australian or regional thing. Woven fence wire around here looks more like this:
1613845934924.png
Around here, not necessarily that brand, but the same twisted on style of construction. I did find something similar in Pennsylvania; perhaps I just haven't been looking close enough.
bekaert-quality-fencing-barbed-wire-fixed-knot__30754.1556640838.1280.1280.jpg
 
Whinbush

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Not telling you what to do, but my ass would be at the Dr right away to have it checked, cleaned, antibiotics, etc. If that gets infected you could lose your leg. If you got sepsis you could be goner.
I agree, antibiotics and sterilize the area are a must, if infection sets in, these relatively small incidents can take months and months to heal.
And if it don't heal, well that is why I would get it looked at.
I broke my ankle last February, covid was here, everyone told not to bother the doctors, not to turn up in a and e, I wasn't sure it broke,
until last December when the pain was getting worse, it was broke, and now I have pain every day and night, I listened to bad advise
regarding keeping the doctors and resources free for the emergency, would I do that again, no way, I will take more interest in me from now on,
sadly am stuck with pain that may never go away, and a damaged ankle that will always be bad now.
 
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