The fact is that soft tissue injuries, such as abrasions, lacerations, and puncture wounds are very common. We have all had these sorts of injuries at one time or another, and most of the time they are simply a nuisance, easily remedied with a little tender loving care, soap and water, and a Band-aid. But, it’s not always quite that easy. Even a simple wound, if not managed properly, can turn into a potentially life-threatening infection.
When working in disaster response, medical mission relief, wilderness medicine, or remote medicine, the skills of wound management are of critical importance. The wound may be a small abrasion on the knee that simply needs a good scrubbing to clean it out or a large, jagged laceration caused by the slip of a chainsaw, resulting in a deep gash, that is bleeding profusely, and full of bark, dirt, and oil. Regardless, any and all soft tissue injuries need proper attention to facilitate healing and, more importantly, to minimize the risk of a serious infection.