lacerations and stab wounds

Last reviewed 01/2018

In any laceration, check:

  • site and extent of haemorrhage
  • any nerve or tendon damage
  • site and depth of wound

Refer stab wounds of chest and abdomen to A/E dept:

  • the size of the skin wound does not correlate with injury
  • sliding tissue planes may give a false depth on probing

Immediate treatment:

  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • continuous pressure to control bleeding (not tourniquet)
  • Haemaccel i.v. drip (doesn't interfere with cross-match)
  • tetanus booster or immunoglobulin and antibiotic cover

For particular injuries, see the section organised by anatomical system in the Accident Service chapter.