Butterfly bandages, Superglue and Home Sutures

Wounds come in a variety of shapes, sizes, depths etc. That will determine whether you use Butterfly bandages, super glue or home sutures.

Butterfly bandages can be used to hold a wound together that does not necessarily need stitches, but that will heal better if held together. They are fairly inexpensive ($2.00 for 10 at most stores). Super glue is best when used on a part of the body that will not be stressed. For instance, the skin on your head is not pulled and stretched like the skin on your calf or your finger. Home Sutures are for deep wounds that are located in a stress zone (hands, arms, legs etc).

When using butterfly bandages:

*Clean wound thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide or warm soapy water.

*Be sure to remove all debris.

*Cayenne can be sprinkled into the wound to stop the pain, sterilize the wound and stop the bleeding.

*Let the wound sit for a few minutes until the pain has subsided some.

*Gently clean the outer edges of the wound and dry it completely. This should be done by blotting not wiping as wiping can pull the wound apart more.

*Attach the butterfly bandages on one side of the wound. If you will need three bandages then attach all three on one side. Then sprinkle a very thin amount of Echinacea (fights infection) and Goldenseal (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory) on the opening of the wound.

*Gently pull the butterfly bandages over to the opposite side of the wound and attach.The Echinacea and Goldenseal needs to be present only on the thinnest part of the butterfly bandage because you don’t want it to interfere with the adhesive on the bandage.

*Bandage loosely.

*Do not allow the wound to get wet.

*Check for discomfort, redness and heat coming from the wound.

*Keep the bandages in place for approximately 7 days.

Superglue is truley amazing!  I was told purchasing the anti-fungal super glue for nails was the best option, but any superglue would work. My experience has told me that when treating my loved ones the cheap super runny super glue takes longer to dry and makes a bigger (especially in hair) mess. I have found it worth the investment to buy the $3 Anti-fungal superglue, it is still much less expensive than a trip to the ER. It is a common staple in our food storage

When using Super glue:

You will need:

*A new unopened container of superglue. Throw it away after it is used.

*4 – 6 pairs of medical latex gloves

*Preferably 2 helpers

*New unopened gauze squares (2”-4”) do not get the coated gauze you need it to be very absorbant

*Large container of petroleum jelly

*Pain killer, aspirin or Tylenol if necessary

Go throw up in the bathroom and get that out of the way! Make sure that you have a helper who has also already thrown up, washed their hands and put on their gloves. If your helper is a child be sure to tell them that they absolutely can not squeeze the glue! Just trust me on that one! Wash your own hands and then put on a pair of medical latex gloves. Clean wound thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide or warm soapy water. Be sure to remove all debris. If the wound is a wound from a human mouth, ie bite or tooth imbedded in your Childs head, it is very prone to infection. It is important that the wound is thoroughly cleaned and then start the child on garlic, acidophilus and probiotics immediately after gluing.

You need to push or pull the wound back together so that it matches up. You are doing this so that you can make a plan. If there is a spot that doesn’t match up because part of the flesh was lost then you may need to stitch it instead. If it looks like you can match it up fairly reasonably then let it lay open again. If it is very painful you may want to put some cayenne in the wound to help with the pain. I have never had to use cayenne for pain, although my kids never complain much either. For healing aid in the elderly or someone with a weakened immune system you can sprinkle a little Echinacea and Goldenseal in the wound.

Now make sure  your helper is standing close with the superglue ready and the gauze is nearby handy. Push or pull the wound together again. Hold the wound in place until you are completely done. Using the gauze gently blot dry the wound. Wait a few minutes and make sure that it is not leaking a lot of fluid. Blot it dry again if necessary.

Then using the superglue start at the highest point of the wound and apply the super glue down the wound without touching the skin. If this is a head wound then there is hair that is bound to be in the way. Hold the hair as flat as you can when you are holding the wound together.

DO NOT CUT THE HAIR If you cut the hair then it will push the superglue away as it grows back in.

 After you have applied the superglue carefully so as to not glue your glove to your childs head (yep, did that once)  wait for the glue to dry. As the superglue dries it changes color from clear to a matte. When it is dry release your  hold and it should stay together by itself. Do not bandage the glued wound. Do not allow the wound to get wet.

Check for discomfort, redness and heat coming from the wound. After 10 days you can start to use the petroleum jelly to break down the superglue.  Be patient!

Do not pull the wound apart. I do not let my kids take their own superglue off. Just coat the superglue with petroleum jelly and work the glue off. When I used cheap super runny glue Kady had to walk around with a chunk of super glue in her hair for a very long time until her hair grew out. Throw away all supplies. Do not reuse. The risk of contamination increases if you use supplies that are not newly opened.

Have you ever wondered how to do something that is not in your comfort or knowledge zone? Go check out www.wonderhowto.com for great how to videos,  including suturing videos!

Important for Suturing:

*Clean wound thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide or warm soapy water.

*Be sure to remove all debris.

*Cayenne can be poured into the wound to stop the pain. (With my animals I give them vodka because they need something that will knock them out so they don’t bite me.) Begin as far away from the opening as the opening is deep. Grab some tissue on your way back up.

*Close each stitch with 3 closures over – under – over or under -over – under.

*Be sure to cut the ends of the sutures just short enough that they will not get tangled in the next suture or the wound and just long enough that they can be easily removed.

*Coat the wound with a topical ointment. I would suggest a paste made of a triple antibiotic ointment and equal amounts Echinacea and Goldenseal.

*Bandage loosely. Do not allow the wound to get wet. Check for discomfort, redness and heat coming

from the wound.

*Emergency suture kits that include all of the necessary equipment run about $50. The kits that just have the needle, sutures and driver are about $7-$10 each.

*Emergency Suture kits can be purchased online at: http://www.nitro-pak.com/products/emergencypreparedness/1st-aid/surgical-kits/emergency-surgical-and-suture-kit


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