As a motorcyclist, you’re probably familiar with road rash. You might get it if you fall off your motorcycle while learning to ride. In that case, it will likely be minor.
However, road rash can be serious. The abrasions that are caused by scraping against the road can quickly rip through tissues and lead to heavy bleeding, a damaged injury site filled with debris and a high risk of infection.
What should you do after suffering from road rash?
Any time you’re in a motorcycle accident, you should seek medical attention. The reality is that a cut or abrasion, even when relatively minor, can get badly infected and will need to be debrided.
There are several stages of road rash including first-, second- and third-degree. The most severe, third degree, tears skin tissues under the epidermis. This can completely remove your skin, which must be treated by a medical professional. Skin grafts could be needed in severe cases.
What kinds of medical care will you need?
People who have road rash may need to have the wound professionally cleaned. This debridement may take place under anesthesia if the injury is bad enough, because it can be quite painful. Minor or moderate cases can be flushed out and debrided in a medical office, urgent care or emergency room most of the time.
In more severe cases, the priority may be to get the patient to stop bleeding. In that situation, the patient would be given medications to slow the bleeding, be taken to surgery and have the wound debrided. Depending on the severity of the case and how much skin was missing, the patient could be given skin grafts, or special techniques could be used to cover the wounds to prevent infection.
Road rash can be extremely painful, particularly in areas where nerves may have been exposed around the edges of the rash. Pain medications and a hospital stay may be necessary to get through the worst of it.
Road rash is avoidable. Wearing long sleeves, shoes, pants, a helmet and other gear can help prevent these injuries from happening, even if you’re hit and thrown from your motorcycle.