How To Know When You Need Stiches – Cuts, wounds and tears are all common and sometimes unavoidable injuries, but when does a cut need to be stitched? How do you know when a wound requires medical attention?
Fortunately, the vast majority of wounds can heal without medical intervention. However, some cuts and scrapes will need stitches and a trip to the emergency room to heal properly. Here is some information that will help you understand how to know if you need stitches.
How To Know When You Need Stiches
How bad does a cut have to be to get one or more stitches? In some cases, stitches or other forms of skin adhesion are necessary for the wound to heal properly.
Does Your Child’s Cut Need Stiches?
To determine if a cut needs stitches, you need to look at the appearance of the cut and remember how the injury occurred. This can give you insight into the severity. Here are two signs that may indicate that you need to go to the emergency room to get stitches for the cut.
Unfortunately, some people only seek medical attention if their cut won’t stop bleeding after an hour or longer. If the bleeding does not stop between 10-15 minutes, go to the emergency room for help. Cuts that require stitches will often look serious, so even if you’re not sure whether to go to the ER, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Deep cuts where you can visibly see fatty tissue, muscle or bone cannot heal properly without stitches. We understand that the idea of getting stitches can make some people feel incredibly uncomfortable, but trying to allow a deep wound to heal without stitches or another adhesion method can be dangerous.
If you ignore the fact that your wound needs stitches and decide not to seek medical help, you are putting your health at risk. Cuts that require stitches must be treated and stitched up as soon as possible to avoid infection, visible scarring and a lengthy healing process.
Does This Need Stitches?
Open wounds have a higher risk of contracting infections, and the risk only increases the longer the wound is open. If you are injured and have deducted from our list above that this cut needs stitches, it will be in your best interest to have these stitches done no later than eight hours after the injury occurs. Anything before that can actually increase the risk of infection. In case the wound is very large, dirty or is in a sensitive area, the window narrows to six hours.
It’s important to note that after the eight-hour window has passed, suturing the wound can increase the risk of getting a bacterial infection since the stitches can pick up any bacteria that the open wound was exposed to in that time frame. When it comes to stitches, it really is now or never, so act fast.
As a matter of fact, all wound healing will result in some scarring, no matter how small. It’s just how the body works. However, a cut that must heal without stitches will leave more prominent, and in some cases more permanent, scarring. Depending on the severity of the wound, the scar may be larger, more severe and more noticeable.
With stitches, the average healing time is about 1-2 weeks, depending on where the wound is on the body. If a cut heals on its own without the aid of stitches, this time frame increases to 3 or more weeks. It doesn’t seem like a big jump, but imagine waiting almost a whole month for a wound to heal! And there’s no guarantee that the wound will heal properly without stitches, which means you should expect additional complications that can add time to your recovery.
How To Know When You Need Stitches
Before going to the emergency room, it is important to know how to treat cuts by handling the wound gently. Not only do you want to prevent the cut from getting worse, but you also want to avoid infection. Here are some tips that will help you manage your wound properly before you go to the emergency room.
When you arrive at the emergency room, preferably at a Complete Care facility, the doctor will do a thorough examination of your wound and determine the best course of action. If the action plan requires stitches, they will prepare you for that process as well as perform other steps to care for the wound, such as removing a foreign body.
After they’re done, they’ll give you information on how to care for stitches, suggest a follow-up visit, and lay out your recovery plan. You are in and out in no time.
Now that you know the answer to the question of when a cut needs stitches, we hope you are better prepared to make that judgment if an injury occurs. If your wound won’t stop bleeding, is large and won’t close, or has a foreign object embedded in the wound, you can go to a Complete Care emergency room for treatment. Our medical staff will provide you with emergency wound treatment in hospital with shorter waiting times.
The Perfect Stitch
We have several emergency rooms in Texas (Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, East Texas, Lubbock and San Antonio) and in Colorado Springs that are open 24/7 and ready to help you and your family. On average, around 70,000 children under the age of 18 end up at the emergency room every day. The reasons vary widely, but chances are your child will be there at some point.
Children often end up there with a cut, wound or abrasion that needs stitches. But parents may be shy about making the trip because it’s not clear whether they can handle the injury alone.
If you have put extra bandages on the wound, you are doing the right thing. Add gauze, don’t change it.
But if it continues to bleed through each new one, you may need stitches. If direct pressure won’t stop the bleeding, get help.
Will I Need Stitches? A Guide
When you cut an artery, the blood comes out in spurts in time with the pulse. This will require stitches to repair in most cases.
A cut can heal relatively easily if it is shallower than ¼ inch in most places. But once you get deeper than that, the skin starts to pull apart when it’s moved.
Platelets thicken the blood and allow it to dry. Dried blood acts as glue that holds the skin together until the wound heals. But if movement reopens it, the healing process takes longer.
Short answer, yes. The skin should be closed with a little pressure. As mentioned above, this helps the blood become glue.
How To Know If A Cut Needs Stitches
You definitely shouldn’t see anything that doesn’t look like skin. If you do, you’ve gone pretty deep.
The fingers, elbows and knees have less skin coverage than most solid bones. Most cuts or injuries in these places need at least a medical examination.
This could be a sign that something is in the early stages of infection. Inflammation needs special attention.
Puss is always a bad sign. Your body is fighting harder than it should be and there’s something in there that doesn’t belong.
Learning How To Care For Your Wisdom Teeth Stitches
Don’t squeeze it, and don’t try to handle it yourself. Hands and nails are the dirtiest places on your body.
Go to a doctor so that the wound can be cleaned, stitched and bandaged with sterile equipment. They may also prescribe antibiotics.
If you don’t know what caused the injury, go to the doctor for stitches. Especially with punctures.
In many cases, you will need stitches and a tetanus shot. Antibiotics or other treatments may also be needed.
Do You Need Stitches For That Cut? — Lara Devgan, Md, Mph, Facs
If you don’t know, assume the worst and get cuts looked at. An emergency visit where only first aid was needed is cheaper than waiting and having problems snowball.
If you feel like guessing, guess against the safer option. If the answer to your question Do I need stitches is yes, contact us at State Urgent Care. If you are new here, an important introductory piece of information is that I have my M.D. I use it for everything. . . apart from making money. Another important thing to know is that I walked away from my career because it wasn’t a good fit for me; I was not asked to leave. I was actually pretty good. Just ask my friends because they ask me for medical advice ALL THE TIME.
I studied and trained at the University of Maryland Medical System giving me extensive surgical, acute and shock trauma experiences you can only get in Baltimore. The first time I sewed another human being was during my first day at the pediatric emergency room as a third-year student. There was a little boy who had spots on his finger. I actually sweated through my scrubs during the millennium it took me to place the five sutures. There was seriously a puddle on my stainless stool. But the sweet boy rewarded me with words I still cherish today: “You are a really good doctor.” Children can certainly lift you up, that is, when they are not busy taking you down.
Since then, I have logged many hours of wound assessment and care. You get to
Memories That’ll Last Forever, Hope You Don’t Need Stitches Though
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