SDF releases resources for wound and injecting advice

3 May 2024

SDF has released a What Workers Need To Know – Wound Advice booklet, a Wound Advice poster and launched its revised e-learning course How are your sites? to help people working in services support people who inject drugs identify and manage injecting wounds and infections.

Injecting-related wounds among people who inject drugs are very common.  Services are reporting an increase of injecting drug use-related wounds and infection. This is linked to the increased number of injecting episodes associated with cocaine use. The situation may worsen if xylazine is mixed in the heroin supply, as has been reported.

These resources have been produced to give people working in services confidence to discuss wounds, infections and injecting technique with people and offer harm reduction advice.

What Workers Need To Know – Wound Advice provides information on how to look after wounds, identify and monitor infections, and when to refer people for treatment.

The Wound Advice poster offers advice to people injecting drugs on how to take care of wounds and how to recognise infections.

The ‘How are your sites?’ e-learning explains the context of injecting-related harm in people who inject; how to assess simple injecting sites; differentiate between infected and non-infected wounds; and discuss potential treatment options and recommend.

Lynn Couper, Senior Learning & Development Officer, Emergency Responses says “We have an increase in the volume of reports of people experiencing harms related to injecting drug use. Staff working in services need to feel comfortable and confident talking to people about their injecting techniques; looking at, and assessing, wounds; and then advising people what they should do.

“Simple wounds, if not monitored and treated, can create serious health problems for people. These resources empower people working in services and people injecting drugs to address this serious health issue and prevent or reduce harms.”