Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Waterproofing open wounds to prevent infections

     Many of you know that my job is in sports medicine and I like to create posts about health and safety. In my daily life skin infections are a frequent battle, especially with the various athletic locker rooms and contact sports that I am responsible for. Preventing an infection or the spread of an infection is key in any wound management plan.

     Many of us fish year round and in various climates, some of which are not conducive to healing wounds. Heat is great example of an environmental condition that can quickly increase the growth of an infected wound. Lake and pond water carry numerous pathogens and bacteria that can be harmful and sometimes even fatal when exposed to an already open and/or infected wound. 

     One way that I waterproof any sore, cut, scrape, or any general open wound is with plastic wrap. Any cling plastic wrap will work. At my job I use a 4 inch plastic cling wrap with a handle. I usually just apply a regular strip style band aid and cover the band aid with the plastic wrap. I go about four inches above and below the band aid, just to make sure that its covered well. If its a wound that is already infected and you are worried about it or just have a small wound but are planning on fishing is stagnant water, you can always go a step farther and seal your band aid with Vaseline around the edges. This will act as a water tight seal then apply the plastic wrap for added protection.

     I hope this helps give you some ideas about how to better protect yourself out on the water.