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What should motorcyclists know about road rash?

Motorcycle riders have a unique chance of injury when they are involved in an accident. Since these riders are merely balancing on top of the motorcycle, the motorcyclists are often thrown from the motorcycle when an accident occurs. This can lead to the biker sliding across the pavement, which can lead to road rash.

What is road rash?

Road rash is another term for the scrapes and abrasions that occur when a rider slides across the pavement. Road rash can range from minor to very serious. The severity of road rash depends on how deeply the tissues are affected by the abrasions and scrapes.

How long does it take road rash to heal?

Less severe forms of road rash can usually heal in about 2 weeks if the rash is cared for properly. Wounds that take longer to heal should be re-evaluated by a medical professional. More serious road rash, however, can take considerably longer because skin grafts might be necessary for healing.

How should road rash be treated?

Road rash must be cleaned, medicated and dressed, The dressing will have to be changed according to a schedule provided by a health care professional. Once per day, the wounds have to be washed in antibacterial soap. The water, however, shouldn't come into contact with the wound until the dressing is removed since the dressing will pull away some debris and dead tissue when it is removed. After it is washed, it should be patted dry and antimicrobial cream should be applied. The wound is then dressed again.

Is infection possible?

Because the pavement is full of germs and debris, anyone with road rash must watch for signs of infection. Pus or foul-smelling drainage, swelling and redness are signs of an infection. Feeling like you have the flu is another sign of an infection.

Even if a biker only suffers from road rash, the cost of seeking medical care and purchasing medical supplies might be considerable. In those cases, the biker might choose to explore the possibility of seeking compensation if the accident was because of someone else's negligence.

Source: UW Health, "Care of Road Rash and Abrasions," accessed April. 01, 2015

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