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Laceration horrors: How a cut can cause complications

When you go to your workplace, you know you face hazards on the job. You work in a field that is fairly dangerous, and you are constantly exposed to sharp objects and heavy machinery.

Recently, you were seriously hurt on the job when your arm was caught in a spinning blade. The lacerations were deep and put you in a difficult position. If the wound doesn't begin to heal well, you could face surgery or, worse, lose your arm.

What is a laceration?

A laceration is basically a significantly deep tear or cut in the flesh. A laceration isn't a simple cut or injury that could heal on its own in a short time. Usually, lacerations are deep enough to require medical care.

How are lacerations treated?

Depending on the severity of the laceration, you may need only stitches or to go into surgery for the repair of muscles, tendons and other tissues. If you have an avulsion, it means the tissues actually tore away from your body, so the resulting wound is particularly severe.

If you cannot stop the bleeding of a lacerated wound or you can tell that the edges of the wound have separated, it's time to seek medical care. It's vital to keep lacerations clean, and because of their depth, there could be bacteria and debris deep in the tissues. This may require a small surgery to clean out the wound.

What are some complications of lacerations?

There is the possibility of infection, in particular. For people who work in industry, with metal or with agriculture, it's absolutely necessary to stay up-to-date on your vaccines. If you do not, you will need to obtain a vaccine for tetanus, at the very least, when you suffer a significant laceration. Tetanus, a severe and serious complication of lacerations, can lead to death if it is not treated. It results from toxins entering the body due to the colstridium tetani bacterium.

Some wounds may become infected and require surgery to clean them. If the tissue die, there is an additional risk that you could need the limb amputated. For significant lacerations on the face or other exposed areas of the body, there could be a need for plastic surgery to reshape or repair parts of the face, arms, legs or other areas.

These are a few things to know about lacerations. The best way to stay healthy is to seek immediate medical care.

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