You may suffer what you believe is a minor injury at work, such as a cut. However, an injury you perceive as insignificant may become something far worse.
Getting nicks and cuts as part of your job may not seem like a big deal. Several factors determine whether a wound at work needs medical attention. If you are unsure, go ahead and get a doctor to check it.
Where did you get the wound?
One of the most important factors in wound severity is the location. If a cut or gash occurs near a major organ, artery or muscle group, you should get help. Even if you think the cut is not too deep, consider that any opening in the skin provides a perfect entry point for bacteria. Once it enters the body, it may take days for the effect to present any indicators of infection.
How did you hurt yourself?
How you got the wound matters. Cutting yourself on metal, especially if it is rusty, may cause immediate transmission of dangerous bacteria. Gashes or cuts often require you to get a tetanus shot to reduce the risk of infection by invasive bacteria.
What signs do you need to watch for?
Should you choose to take a wait-and-see approach, keep a watchful eye out for the following in the hours or days after your injury:
- Increased swelling around the wound
- Deepening redness in and around the wound
- A foul odor coming from the injury area
- Fever, vomiting or flu-like symptoms
Any injury may become serious. To keep yourself from becoming sicker, seek the assistance of a medical professional at any time.