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Road rash: A serious injury that requires emergency care

Road rash is a horrifying injury caused by the friction of a body hitting the road's surface. If your arms and legs are exposed when you're riding a bike, you probably already realize that a crash could result in road rash. When you hit the road, any sliding that takes place could tear at your skin, causing serious abrasions.

Depending on the speed at which you've been traveling, the road rash you suffer could be minor or severe. Acute cases of road rash require emergency care to help prevent infection and to reduce the patient's pain levels.

What should you do if you are hit and suffer road rash?

Start by assessing the injury. If you're hit by a car, you should automatically prepare to go to the hospital. If the injury is bleeding heavily, you should attempt to raise it above the level of your heart.

If the injury is minor compared to other injuries, focus on those first. Typically, skin injuries are superficial, so unless they are particularly deep or bleeding extensively, you should worry more about head injuries, back or neck injuries or other kinds of wounds you have.

Road rash treatment consists of cleaning out the wounds with saline. A medical provider may use a small syringe to spray dirt and debris out of the wound. Antibiotics are given for people with major wounds, since they help reduce the risk of infection as the skin heals. In particularly extreme cases of road rash, it is possible that you could need surgery to apply a skin graft, which is something that should be covered by the negligent driver's insurance. Our site has more on what you can do after you're struck by a car.

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