Kinds of bleeding wounds

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You are bound to get injured when in the wilderness and many of these wounds might be bleeding. It is good to know the kind of wound it is, since this knowledge will help you treat the wound.

There are five types of bleeding wounds, characterised by their size, thickness and form. They can also be open wounds or closed wounds. The five kinds of wounds are incisions, lacerations, punctures, abrasions and contusions, and avulsions.

Incisions have straight edges as if sliced with a knife. You can make out an incision wound by pinching the two sides of the wound together, they will fit almost perfectly and therefore makes it easier to close the wound. Incisions can be caused by knives, metal edges, etc. So be careful when you are using knives, axes, machetes or trying to open a can without the proper implements. Incisions can also happen when you are trying to sharpen a knife.

Lacerations have jagged edges, almost like a tear rather than a clean cut. If you cut yourself with a broken glass or pierce yourself with a sharp branch, lacerations are likely to occur.

When a sharp object penetrates the skin you get a puncture wound. A puncture is a wound that goes straight in. Since it is a small entry wound it might look benign on the surface but can cause internal damage to tissues, blood vessels, nerves or other organs if the penetration is deep enough. You can get a puncture wound with the point of a knife, a needle, a thorn, etc.

Abrasions and contusions are superficial wounds and affect the surface layers of the skin. The capillaries just under the skin surface may be affected and a darkening and swelling of the skin may be noticed. You can get an abrasion by falling and hurting yourself when you try and break your fall with your fists for instance.

An avulsion is a more serious type of laceration. It creates a flap on the skin which when lifted shows the deeper tissues. An avulsion can lead to serious bleeding and needs to be contained to prevent blood loss and infection.

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