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what exactly is an open wound?
Aug 28, 2004

When one says blood getting into an open wound, what exactly does that mean. I know what a wound is, but at what point is it healed enough to not be concerned? Once the cut stops bleeding is there some sort of a barrier against infection/blood from entering the blood stream or does there have to be an actual scab present before blood can't enter? Would a cut that was 3 or so hours old have enough of a barrier to not worry? I am just very confused...

Response from Dr. McGovern

It may be difficult to answer your question as precisely as you may like. I would consider an open wound, an opening that is recent, still "oozing" and without the usual barriers which protect us against foreign invaders. A wound that is scabbed over would be something that is protected. A wound that is "3 hours old" is probably still open to viruses and bacteria. Of course the size of the wound also matters as well as the exposure to contaminated blood. Dr. McGovern



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