Splinters in the body

Splinters can enter the body in many different ways and forms. Common items are wood splinters and small pieces of metal.  Getting a splinter is not normally serious unless it is in a sensitive part of the body like the eyes.

The first thing to do is to clean the area with a mild soap and water so that the area is clean and there is less risk of dirt entering the body through the cut in the splinter made.  Make sure you ask the person for permission to help them.

Small splinters can be very hard to see and if you cannot remove it then it will usually work its way out in a few days. If you can see it then you can remove it with tweezers or if it is not fully in the body, sticky tape or a plaster can be stuck on the splinter and then removed, which hopefully will remove it from the body.

Larger splinters can be removed with a sterile needle and tweezers.  You can clean these with alcohol wipes or a liquid first aid disinfectant.  Where you can see the end of the splinter, carefully grip it with the tweezers pulling it out in the direction that it entered the body to avoid breaking it in two.

Where nothing is sticking out the body, you may need to carefully expose the splinter with a  needle to allow you to grip the splinter with tweezers. Once its removed, clean the wound with a first aid wipe and apply a plaster if necessary.  It can help to squeeze either side of the wound to allow it to bleed which will flush out any dirt.

You may need to get medical help from a Doctor or Nurse if you cannot remove the whole splinter, the wound is bleeding heavily, the splinter is in a sensitive area or under a nail.

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