|When an internal or external break in body tissue occurs – we term it a ‘wound’. Open wounds (such as cuts from a knife) are breaks in the skin or mucous membranes. Open wounds are most commonly caused by accidents such as falls, mishandling of sharp objects, accidents with tools or machinery, and car accidents and are almost always accompanied by pain. A closed wound (a contusion or internal bleeding) is a bruise that damages the underlying tissue without breaking the skin (as in a black eye).
Some wounds may be accompanied by swelling and inflammation, and more serious wounds that do not stop bleeding with applied pressure, may need stitches or sutures. This holds the two edges of a wound together so that healing can occur with a minimum of scarring. After an injury that causes a break in the skin, infection is the greatest concern. Always seek medical advice if a fever accompanies a healing wound, blood pressure drops or you experience rapid heartbeat. As with any wound, it is important to have a physician inspect the wound and help decide if sutures, antibiotics, tetanus therapy or other treatment is necessary.