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Open Wounds Leading to Something More Serious

by Kayla Gayle

Have you ever had an open wound somewhere on your body and never gotten it treated
like it should have been? Having an open wound on your body could lead to more problems if it
does not get treated like it should. I was a student-athlete in high school. For softball, my team
was doing winter workouts and the station that I was at when my incident occurred was box
jumps. I had completed my first couple of rounds and then my coach came up to me and told
me that it was too easy for me and that I needed to flip the box to the taller side. I did as she
asked and on my first jump up on the taller side bam, my shin went right into the corner of the
wooden box. It had sliced my shin. I went to the trainer to have her look at my cut and determine
if I would need to go get stitches immediately or if I would be okay. After a couple of days, I went
to my pediatrician and I was treated with antibiotic pills and antibiotic cream. The slice on my
shin never ended up closing and there was still a small hole about the width of a Q-tip. Then in
July, five months after the incident, I noticed my ankle really started to hurt and there was stuff
oozing out of the small hole. I then went back to my pediatrician and she referred me to an
orthopedic surgeon. I went to the orthopedic surgeon and he stated I needed to get surgery
immediately, because it was infected and the infection had spread widely underneath the skin,
and that was leading to the pain and pressure that I was feeling in my ankle. I had surgery and
he removed all of the infection. I left the hospital with a drain tube in my leg so the infection
would not settle again.

There are several public health problems that are associated with my story of wounds
leading to infections and possibly other health conditions. This problem is pretty common due to
many people actually having injuries that lead to other possible infections (3). Incidents of
infection could be pretty bad if not treated, and end up like my situation. My situation lasted
longer than it should have because the trainer told me that my slice was not that bad and that I
did not need stitches. I should have just gone and got seen right away by a doctor, or else my
injury would not have turned into the infection it did. Normally the people that experience this
problem would be anyone who experiences an open wound on their body. Since wounds are a
very common injury among all ages the Red Cross has a wound classification system to help
make the process of identifying the severity of a wound easier (3). Another problem with
wounds is that you may be given an antibiotic to help prevent the wound from becoming an
infection, but many people may have antibiotic resistance (4).

Some experts that are working to solve this problem of getting infections would be the
World Health Organization (WHO), Centers of Disease Control (CDC), and Red Cross Wound
Classification (RCWC). The WHO has an infection prevention and control department and the
CDC has infection control. These groups could provide key advice on how to prevent the
infection from settling in the body and how to sanitize things so the infection rate is lowered. The
CDC has two tiers of infection control basis and they are standard precautions and transmission-based precautions (1). Infections occur in three forms such as the source, susceptible person,
and transmission (1). Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a reasonable strategy that avoids
patients and healthcare employees from unnecessary infections that cannot be avoided to be
a final determination of resistance to antimicrobial things (2). The RCWC system solves
problems and helps determine the treatment that is needed for the individual’s wound and if the
individual needs to clinically be seen (3).

What I would do to prevent something little from turning into an even bigger issue would
be to get treatment right away rather than wait. You can never be too safe, and you would
probably rather be safe than sorry. No matter what may be wrong with you I would recommend
getting seen right away before something may turn for the worse because your body can and
will do crazy things. One specific request I have related to the CDC and their information on
infections is that they provide more sterile or antiseptic objects to facilities. By calling for the
CDC’s help in providing more sterile or antiseptic objects, this could possibly help lower the rates
of infection across the United States.

Resources:

  1. CDC-Centers of Disease Control-infection control
    https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/basics/index.html
  2. WHO-World Health Organization-infection prevention and control
    https://www.who.int/teams/integrated-health-services/infection-prevention-control
  3. World Journal of Emergency Surgery
    https://wjes.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13017-020-00333-0
  4. CDC-Antibiotic Resistance
    https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/national-estimates.html#:~:text=More%20tha
    n%202.8%20million%20antibiotic,Resistance%20(AR)%20Threats%20Report.

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