Packing a Wound
This sheet tells you how to care for your wound. Your nurse or doctor will show you how to do this dressing change. Look at the wound closely each day and check for tunnels or spaces that need to be packed with the dressing.
Change your dressing ________________________times a day.
1. Gather your supplies.
Gauze for packing
Gauze squares to cover packed wound
2. Wash the work surface.
3. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Dry well with a clean towel.
4. Remove the old dressing. If the dressing sticks, pour saline over it and gently remove it. Put it into a plastic bag, and toss in the garbage.
5. Wash your hands again.
6. Pour saline into the wound to rinse it out.
Measure the gauze to pack into the wound. Remember - A healing wound needs less and less gauze. Wet the gauze with saline and wring out any excess. It should be as wet as a damp sponge with no dripping.
7. Do not overfill the wound. Use a cotton swab to place the dressing into tunnels or deep spaces and tuck extra gauze into the wound. The wound needs to be filled completely, but gently. All wound surfaces need to be covered.
8. Place gauze squares over the wound and tape it to hold everything in place.
9. Wash your hands.
When to Call the Doctor
- Temperature greater than 100.4°F by mouth for 2 readings, 4 hours apart
- Increased tenderness or swelling
- Pus or foul smelling wound drainage
- Redness spreading from the wound
- Change in the color of the clean wound to green, black, brown or white
____________________Clinic. (608) ______- ___________. 0800-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Friday.
After hours, weekends or holidays. (608) 262-0486.
Ask for the doctor on call for Dr. ________________________.
Leave your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.
Toll Free: 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/30/2010
Copyright © 08/27/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5185
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