What to do if you step on the glass

When to go to the doctor
You should go to the emergency room or a surgeon if:
The bleeding doesn’t stop;
The cut is deep or large;
the edges of the wound don’t come together;
there are symptoms of nerve or tendon damage – numbness, loss of sensation or mobility;
the abrasion cannot be cleaned;
the wound is punctured and the glass is dirty;
splinter cannot be retrieved;
last tetanus vaccination was more than five years ago.
Try to wash the wound beforehand, and then cover it with clean gauze or cloth.

The doctor will likely rinse the wound again and examine it. He may prescribe a skin ultrasound or other examination. If necessary, he will remove pieces of glass and stitch and then do a dressing.

If the last tetanus vaccination was a long time ago, the medic will do a prophylaxis.

What you can do yourself if you step on glass
If you’ve broken a plate and walked across a floor from which you haven’t cleaned up all the shards, or stepped on a small piece of glass, you can probably help yourself.

1. Wash your hands.
Only touch any wounds with hands that have been washed thoroughly with soap and water.

2. Wash the wound.
Removing the dirt in this way will allow you to examine the wound. This will also get rid of any germs or small pieces of debris that may have gotten into it.

You do not need to wash with alcohol or peroxide – aggressive solutions damage delicate tissues and interfere with healing. Tap water with soap and water is clean enough, it does not contain germs dangerous to wounds. Cold water can help reduce bleeding, and warm, high-pressure water can wash away small particles.

3. assess whether the wound contains splinters
Look carefully to see if there are pieces of glass left in the wound. You can use a magnifying glass or your phone camera and zoom in. A flashlight will help you see even better.

4. If there are pieces, try to remove them
Some splinters may not be too hard to remove by yourself.

Tape the wound.
If the pieces are very small and there is no blood, you can try sticking duct tape to the wound area. The shards will stick to it and you will pull them out painlessly.

If that doesn’t work, go to the next step.

Disinfect the needle or tweezers
Douse the instrument with alcohol or boiling water, place the tip of it in the fire for a few seconds, or wash it with soap. This will not make it sterile, but it will definitely reduce germs.



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