This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
Lacerated wounds are those which are torn; as by machinery, or bites of dogs, horses, or other beasts, etc. They are irregular in shape, seldom bleed much, but often inflame, sometimes mortify, and hardly ever heal" by the first intention." Machinery injuries may be dreadful in character; a whole limb being torn off at once; or a hand or a foot torn to pieces. Such may be speedily fatal by shock; or their results may entail a tedious and uncertain struggle for life; at least when an arm or a leg is badly lacerated. Erysipelas is one of the dangers attending such injuries; tetanus (lockjaw), another; septiśmia (or pyśmia), another.
Besides what may be needful on account of the general shock to the system, lacerated wounds require to be carefully cleared of all fragments of foreign bodies, dirt, etc., and then protected from the air by a proper dressing. To cleanse such a wound, a stream of water should be allowed to flow over it from a clean sponge, dipped in warm water and squeezed above the wound. Water-dressing agrees well with such injuries. Double a piece of lint or soft linen, and squeeze it out of clean tepid water or clear lime-water. Lay this upon the wound, and cover it with a piece of oiled silk, oiled paper, or thin rubber-cloth Bandage it on the part with just enough firmness to prevent its being displaced. Such a dressing will have to be moistened at least twice a day and had better be changed once in twenty-four hours; disturbing the wounded surface each time as little as possible. Before the dressing is reapplied, sprinkle iodoform powder lightly over it. This is antiseptic and promotes healing.
Penetrating wounds may vary much; from piercing with a pin to a bayonet, sword, or bullet wound. Even a needle or large pin may be forced into the heart, so as to cause death. Every one receiving a severe penetrating wound, of any part of the body, must be kept in a condition of complete rest, awaiting results which need to receive the best professional attention, to meet the dangers, seen and unseen, belonging inevitably to such injuries.