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How to Handle Road Rash

August 12, 2015

Please note: New Zealand's emergency services number is 111

If you're a bike rider and you haven't suffered a dose of road rash, then consider yourself lucky!

We on the other hand, know all about it, and it's no fun. Depending on how significant a crash you've had, road rash can end up mighty painful and mighty crusty...

So we caught up with our friends at St John Ambulance to step us through what we should do in the event of coming off and copping another dose of road rash.

See also: Training and wellbeing - great tips, advice, sessions and more

1. Clean the wound

No surprises that Martin and Anthony from St John Ambulance assume we might not be riding with saline solution. Although it probably is a good idea... But for those who aren't equipped with a travelling First Aid kit, you can call on your bidon of water of sports drink to act as a saline solution-stand-in, provided the fluid is 'clean'. Basically just wash the wounded area in an effort to get as much gravel out as possible, otherwise your chance of infection are even higher.

2. If the wound is bleeding

Then you need to apply pressure to the wound in an effort to stop the bleeding. Again Martin and Anthony have wisely assumed not many of us will be riding with bandages, so apparel like an arm warmer or a jacket wrapped around the wound (and then pressure applied over the top) should help stem bleeding but also protect the wound from further infection, until you get proper medical assistance.

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