Before touching the foot with the glass splinter, you should wash your hands with soap and warm water. Then, wash the foot with warm soapy water. You can use a clean cloth or paper towel for that part.
Next, make sure your tweezers and needle are clean. To do so, bring a small amount of water to a boil, then dip the ends of the tweezers and needle into the boiling water. Then, wipe them off with an alcohol pad (like the ones found in a first aid kit) or a cotton ball. The main thing to keep in mind is not introducing an infection into the broken skin from dirty tools. Keep them clean!
While getting glass in your foot can feel alarming, getting it out doesn’t need to be.
Just as easy as it is to accidentally step on glass and end up with some in your foot, pulling the glass out can be done quickly and safely at home with a few simple tools:
Soap and water
Needle (such as a sewing needle)
It is best to take the glass splinter out as soon as you notice it to make infection less likely and the removal process easier. Follow the first aid steps to help yourself or someone else who has glass stuck in the foot.
Splinters are things that get stuck under the skin. Like a wooden splinter that you can get from touching a rough piece of wood, a glass splinter is a thin, sharp piece of glass that breaks the skin’s surface. The glass piece will look like a sliver of glass, having broken off a larger chunk of glass.
Glass pieces can be hard to see, so it’s not uncommon to get a glass splinter in areas where broken glass might be present. Common causes of getting glass stuck in your foot are being barefoot while cleaning up a broken glass object in the home or stepping on broken glass—such as from a broken glass bottle—while walking outside without shoes.
Stepping on a nail, while an accident, is not without its risks. Puncture wounds on the feet are more likely to get infected. This is why cleaning the wound is incredibly important.
Puncture wounds caused by nails are a common way that bacteria that cause tetanus get into the body. Being immunized prevents tetanus. Many people get tetanus shots as part of routine care. You should get a tetanus shot every 10 years. Staying up to date on tetanus boosters is very important, especially when accidents like stepping on a nail happen.
Puncture wounds also run the risk of excessive bleeding. However, a lot of bleeding usually only occurs with severe wounds, in which case a healthcare provider should be called on.
A minor wound usually can be treated at home. Keeping the wound clean is the key.
Wash the wound regularly, such as one to two times per day, and apply fresh antibiotic cream and a clean bandage after doing so. Antibiotic cream can be found over the counter, usually in the same section where you would find bandages. Continue this cycle of cleaning and covering the wound until the wound closes.
If the wound is painful, over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever medication may help. Always check with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication.
If you’ve stepped on a nail, there are a couple of factors to consider when determining if you should seek medical attention, including:
The depth of the wound
The cleanliness of the nail you stepped on
It can be difficult to tell how deeply a nail penetrated your foot.
If the nail appears to have only scratched the surface of your foot and it wasn’t rusty, it may be safe to just take care of the wound at home. Follow these simple steps to clean and cover the wound.
Wash Your Hands
The most important consideration is preventing the wound from getting infected. That starts with making sure your hands are clean. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your foot.
Use your hands to apply pressure to the area around the wound. This will help keep it from bleeding more. Remember to have clean hands before they go near the wound.
Clean the Wound
Regardless of how dirty or clean the nail was, it is crucial to clean the wound to prevent infection. Although it may be a little bit uncomfortable, it needs to be done.
Follow these steps:
First, put the wounded foot under running water for five minutes so that the wound can be rinsed. Ideally, a saline (salt in water) solution is used. If saline is not accessible, use bottled water.
Next, use soap to wash the affected area.
Take a good look at the wound to see if there is any debris or a piece of the nail in the wound. Look, but don’t touch.
If there is nothing visible, you are set to keep treating the wound yourself. However, it is always best to receive advice from a medical professional.
Apply Antibiotic Cream
Next, apply antibiotic cream, such as Neosporin (neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin) to the wound. You don’t need a whole lot, just enough to cover the wound. The antibiotic cream will help prevent bacterial infection in the open wound.
Cover the Wound
Once antibiotic cream has been applied on the wound, cover it with a clean bandage. Make sure the padding (the white square) on the bandage is big enough so that the adhesive doesn’t stick to the wound.
Stepping on a nail may cause a puncture wound on the foot. The wound may look minor, but the puncture may be deeper than it appears. Sometimes, if the wound isn’t severe, it can be treated without medical attention. Other times, the puncture will require more treatment than you can provide at home.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has put much of life as we know it on hold. For many people, including those with heart disease or other conditions, the virus also has delayed some tests and procedures. As the number of COVID-19 cases begins to drop in communities, hospitals and clinics are starting to resume non-urgent testing and procedures. But it’s not business as usual. They are reopening in ways to protect you and the people who will care for you. While you wait, watch for any signs that your condition is getting worse. If your symptoms change, call your health care team right away. This information could affect the decision to postpone a test or procedure. Talk to your health care professional if you have concerns.
Why Has My Test or Procedure Been Delayed?
To handle the expected surge of patients with COVID-19, most hospitals and practices have postponed non-urgent tests and procedures.
Many of these decisions have been guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Putting off some tests and procedures during this crisis can help:
Reduce the spread of COVID-19 overall by having fewer patients and visitors
Protect you and care teams from exposure to people who may be carrying the virus
Conserve medical supplies, so they can be used to care for patients who are severely ill
Ease the strain on the health care system to help care for people with COVID-19 and other emergencies, including heart attacks and strokes
Postponing a test or procedure may make you feel uneasy, especially if it has been on the calendar for a while. You may be worried about how this delay might affect your health or options for care.
Rest assured that:
Tests or procedures are being delayed only if the condition is not considered urgent or life-threatening
Your health care team will do all they can to help you manage your condition and any symptoms you have during this time.
Which Tests and Procedures are Delayed?
Not all tests, procedures or surgeries are being postponed. To make this decision, your care team may consider several factors including:
The degree of your symptoms and heart condition: How bad, or severe, are they?
Whether the test or procedure needs to be done right away: A procedure unlikely to affect your care or situation over the next several months is not considered urgent
Whether the test or procedure requires the use of personal protective equipment or additional testing
“Any decisions about the timing and urgency of cardiac tests and procedures should be made by you and your care team.” — Ty Gluckman, MD, FACC, medical director, Providence Heart Institute, Portland, Oregon
What is the difference between tests and procedures that can be delayed vs. those that need to be done right away?
Can be delayed Non-urgent or elective
Needs to be done right away Urgent, essential, or emergency care
A delay is unlikely to affect your care or result in harm over the next several months
Examples include:Routine tests, such as echocardiogramsProcedures for patients who have mild symptoms or who are managing their disease well
Must be done at once or within a short time to reduce risk of more serious, worse outcome
Examples include:Heart attackLoss of consciousnessStrokeWorsening shortness of breath
What Happens as Tests and Procedures Resume?
As the number of COVID-19 cases starts to drop in your community, many hospitals and clinics will begin to resume non-emergency heart tests and procedures.
They will do so carefully while working with public health officials to keep a close eye on how things are going. They also will take steps to protect you, other patients, and health care workers while you receive care during the pandemic.
These safety measures may include:
Allowing only patients (no visitors) to come to the hospital or clinic
Requiring patients and health care workers to wear masks
Screening or testing patients for COVID-19 before they are OK’d for a procedure or test
Providing care to patients with COVID-19 in a dedicated part of the hospital
Screening or testing health care workers involved in your care for COVID-19
Resuming tests and procedures will likely happen in phases to help make sure that patients with COVID-19 and those without it are getting the right care at the right time. Health organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, issued guidance on this recently.
We are still learning about COVID-19, and experts warn that new waves of the disease may lead to changes in your treatment plan. That is why it’s so important to work with your health care team to figure out which cardiovascular tests and procedures don’t need to be done right away.
Decisions about your test or procedure will depend on how you are doing and local COVID-19 disease activity.
What You Can Do
Talk with your care team if you have concerns about waiting to have a test or procedure done. Often a phone call or telehealth visit to discuss your concerns can provide some peace of mind. It can also reassure you that you will get the care you need when you need it.
Just like you would do before the COVID-19 pandemic:
Take your medications as directed—don’t make any changes without talking to your care team first
Watch for any new symptoms or signs that your heart condition may be getting worse and call your health professional to let them know
Keep up with healthy habits including exercising regularly, and eating vegetables, fruits, and unprocessed foods
Know how to contact your health professional or call 911 in an emergency.