Wound Management

Community pharmacies have long been centres for the treatment of minor wounds resulting from accidents, sporting injuries or other mishaps.

The role of community pharmacists in wound care reflects their significant healthcare training over the years as well as their on-the-job experience in treating wounds such as cuts, grazes and burns.

It is important to recognise that if you suffer a serious wound you may need treatment at a hospital or by a doctor. Even for minor wounds it is advisable to see a healthcare professional such as a pharmacist rather than simply self-treating with bandages from non-health suppliers like supermarkets.

Some pharmacies now offer a wound care service within the pharmacy. A person seeking treatment for a wound will first be examined and questioned on how the wound occurred before it is washed and cleaned to ensure there are no foreign bodies like dirt, glass, stones etc in the wound. If the pharmacist is unsure that the wound has been cleared of all foreign matter they may refer you to a doctor or hospital emergency department.

The next step is that the pharmacist will try to stop any bleeding and then dress the wound.

Wounds however need ongoing treatment and the patient is also likely to be counselled on how to clean and redress the wounds and also how to look for any signs of infection or if and when to seek further medical advice.

The pharmacist may also advise on any pain relief that may be required and also on the need for good nutrition and skin care for wound healing rates to be maximised.

If you are diabetic, special care needs to be paid to any wound and you should inform your pharmacist immediately if you suffer from this condition.

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