First Aid Tips: Cuts and Abrasions

Based on a module by Fred Mednick from the Connexions website’s Health Education Course

Introduction by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert


This brief article gives useful advice on how to handle cuts and abrasions, which are often the byproduct of falls. Falls are unfortunately quite common among the elderly, so this article is of particular relevance to those 65 and older.  --Don Rose



Here are the main steps for dealing with cuts on your body:

  1. Cleanse area thoroughly with soap and warm water, carefully washing away any dirt.
  2. Apply direct pressure to wound until bleeding stops.
  3. Put sterile bandage on wound.
  4. If cut is deep, get to a doctor as quickly as possible.


Now here are the main steps for dealing with abrasions:

  1. Wash thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  2. If it bleeds or oozes, bandage it to protect it from infection.


Attending to a cut or abrasion fast will help prevent infection. However, sometimes an infection can still occur; here are the main signs to look for:

  1. swelling
  2. redness
  3. pain
  4. may cause fever
  5. presence of pus.

If a wound is infected, or you just think it might me, get medical attention right away.

Help is always available to Life Alert members nationwide, 24/7, in case of accidents, fire, intrusion or other emergencies. Just push the ultralight waterproof pendant (available in both wristband and necklace styles), and a Life Alert dispatcher will send the proper assistance to you immediately.

The article above is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License. The information provided is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article, and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions. 

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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