First Aid for Common Injuries
Breaks in the skin that bleed (such as a cut, a scrape, or a puncture) need to be treated promptly to avoid infection.
What to do immediately: Place a piece of sterile gauze (or a clean cloth) on the injury and apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding. For minor cuts and scrapes, wash with soap and water; follow with a thin layer of Vaseline or an antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage.
What not to do: Wash or apply ointment to a wound that’s large, deep, or profusely bleeding. Instead, seek medical help. If there’s an object protruding from the injury, don’t try to remove it.
When to seek medical attention: If there’s an object (like a nail) in the cut, call 911. Call your doctor if the wound is a deep puncture; becomes infected; is accompanied by a fever; or has redness, swelling, or red streaks around it.