Splinters

You will usually be able to remove small splinters of wood, gravel, glass or metal using a pair of tweezers that have been sterilized by holding them in a flame for a few seconds and then allowed to cool. First, clean the skin around the splinter; soaking the affected part in warm water to soften the skin may also help to ease the removal of the splinter. Next, in a good light and, if necessary, using a magnifying glass to help you see, grip the splinter with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible and gently pull the splinter out in the opposite direction to the one it came in. Do not attempt to make the wound larger either in order to get the splinter out, or if the splinter breaks off leaving a piece embedded in the skin. In the case of the latter, medical advice should be sought.

Once the splinter has been removed, the wound should be cleaned and dressed as usual. When there is a possibility of the wound becoming infected, the casualty should be advised to make sure that his or her tetanus inoculations are up to date.

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