Wounds which develop signs of infection should also be brought to a doctor's attention. Signs of infection are swelling, redness, tenderness, throbbing pain, localized warmth, fever, swollen lymph glands, the presence of pus either in the wound or draining from it, and red streaks spreading away from the wound.
With even as little as one quart of blood lost, a person may lose consciousness and go into traumatic shock. Because this is life-threatening, emergency medical assistance should be called immediately. If the person stops breathing, artificial respiration (also called mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or rescue breathing) should be administered. In the absence of a pulse, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) must be performed. Once the person is breathing unassisted, the bleeding may be attended to.
In cases of severe blood loss, medical treatment may include the intravenous replacement of body fluids. This may be infusion with saline or plasma, or a transfusion of whole blood.
In addition to the conventional treatments described above, there are alternative therapies that may help support the injured person. Homeopathy can be very effective in acute wound situations. Ledum (Ledum palustre) is recommended for puncture wounds (taken internally). Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is the primary homeopathic remedy for wounds. An antiseptic, it is used topically as a succus (juice), tea, or salve. Another naturally occurring antiseptic is tea tree oil (Melaleuca spp.), which can be mixed with water for cleaning wounds. Aloe (Aloe barbadensis) can be applied topically to soothe skin during healing. When wounds affect the nerves, especially in the arms and legs, St.-John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum) can be helpful when taken internally or applied topically. Acupuncture can help support the healing process by restoring the energy flow in the meridians that have been affected by the wound. In some cases, vitamin E taken orally or applied topically can speed healing and prevent scarring.
Bethany Thivierge, Carol A. Turkington, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,