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Treating Kitchen Knife Injuries

Anyone who spends enough time in a kitchen will inevitably get cut. Thankfully most of these are minor and can be easily treated at home. But kitchen knives can also cause severe injuries. They have the potential to stab or cut deeply. The main risk for minor cuts is infection. More severe injuries, in addition to the risk of infection, can also result in blood loss and shock.

The best way to reduce injury from kitchen knives is to keep your knives sharp. This might sound paradoxical, but sharper knives are less likely to slip and require less force to use. Bearing down on a dull knife can result in it coming loose and causing an injury. In addition, sharp knives create straighter, less jagged cuts, which are easier to hold together and heal quicker.

The main risk from most kitchen cuts is infection. Even in the cleanest kitchens, exposure to raw meat and other items prone to collecting bacteria can lead to cuts becoming infected. For that reason, if you are cut, immediately put the knife down and wash your cut thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibacterial ointment, if available, and cover the wound with a bandage.

If the cut is squirting blood rather than oozing, immediately call 9-1-1. Apply pressure to reduce blood loss. If blood loss continues, tie the limb tightly with a bandage. Place the bandage nearer to the torso than the cut (higher up the arm) to restrict the flow of blood to the cut. If the wounded person begins to feel weak, faint, or dizzy, call 9-1-1 if you have not already and treat for shock until the ambulance arrives. To treat for shock, rest the injured person on his or her back and elevate the legs.

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