Patient Instructions – The Ottawa Hospital

Wound Care

General Instructions:

  • If your wound is becoming RED, SWOLLEN, more PAINFUL, or is DRAINING PUS or there are RED STREAKS from it, then see your doctor immediately or return to the Emergency Department.



  • Keep the wound DRY for 24 hours and covered with a CLEAN DRESSING until the stitches are removed.
    See your family doctor in ______ days
    for suture removal

Steri Strips:

  • These are small pieces of special tape used to pull the edges of a cut together.
  • Keep the area clean and dry.
  • The Steri Strips will come off naturally or can be gently pulled off in 12 days.

Skin Glues:

  • Your cut may have been glued together.
  • Keep the area clean and dry.
  • You may wash the area gently with soap and water but do not scrub or pick at it.
Tetanus - Lockjaw Prevention

Tetanus disease is also called lockjaw. This is a very serious illness but can be prevented by immunization followed by regular boosters.

You are up to date.

You required a tetanus booster today.
You needed better protection against tetanus.
The immunization shot given today will provide tetanus protection for 5 to 10 years.

You were not immunized against tetanus in the past.

You required a tetanus vaccine today and tetanus immune globulin.

You need to see your doctor in one month and then in 6 months for another vaccination.

  • You may notice some swelling and pain and tenderness at the site of your vaccine injection for the next few days. This is normal and does not mean you have an allergy to the vaccine.
  • The pain and swelling may be made less by putting an ice pack on it for 10 minutes at a time every few hours.
  • You may take a mild pain killer if necessary

Follow-up Instructions:

See your family doctor in ______ days.
Make an appointment with another doctor – contact information has been given to you.
Return to the Emergency Department in ______ days.

Special Instructions:



©2003 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ottawa