How to Spot an Infected Wound
All open wounds are at risk of becoming infected. An infected wound can cause complications such as scarring, delayed healing and even blood poisoning (sepsis). Early medical treatment is vital to fight the infection. In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove dead tissue or drain pus.
Knowing how to spot the warning signs of an infected wound is an important skill for any first aider. In this first aid blog post, we’ll look at how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an infected wound.
Signs and Symptoms of an Infected Wound
A wound that is infected may show the following signs and symptoms:
- Increasing pain,
- Redness (erythema) spreading from around the wound
- Increasing temperature around the wound
- Pus in or leaking from the wound
- Swollen glands
In addition, the person may develop a fever (high temperature) and chills.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if there is spreading redness around a wound. It can be useful to take serial photos of a wound, or draw around the wound to mark the area of redness.
How to Treat an Infected Wound
An infected wound needs professional medical treatment. An antibiotic may be required, along with swabs of the wound or drainage of pus. Do not delay seeking medical advice if you are concerned about a wound!