When Do I Need Stitches for Cuts?

Regardless of how careful you are, you will get injuries and cuts. The cuts are common and we sometimes get used to them and can’t tell if a cut needs a stitch or to be treated at home. Most times the cuts are minor and home treatment and a bandage will suffice. However, when the wound is deep, you need emergency care and stitches. Whether the cut needs stitches or not will depend on a few factors such as:

1. The Size of the Cut

How deep and wide the laceration is will determine if you need stitches or bandages. The wound will need stitches if it’s deep and the fatty tissue, bone or muscle are exposed or wide. Additionally, the depth of the wound plays a role in how the wound will be closed.

2. What’s the Cause?

The cause of some cuts makes urgent treatment a necessity. Cuts caused by human or animal bites may need a tetanus booster, antibiotics, and stitches as the risk of wounds are higher.

A human or animal bite should be evaluated by a doctor so seek urgent care near you when the injury occurs for proper treatment. Furthermore, some wounds such as rabies can affect your overall wellness and need an injection immediately.

3. How Bad is The Bleeding?

When a cut occurs, there will be bleeding, but often it stops after a few minutes especially if you apply pressure. However, if the bleeding lasts for more than 10 minutes you need stitches. Moreover, spurting bleeding may also be a sign of a severed blood artery.

4. Where is the Wound Located?

Cuts in some parts of the body may need stitches regardless of how deep or shallow they are. For instance, a wound that cuts across the joints will likely need stitches because of the risk of damaging ligaments or tendons.

Furthermore, cuts that occur in the gentiles, face or eyelids need to be evaluated by our doctor as they can impair their functioning. Therefore, visit Altus Emergency Center as soon as the cuts occur to reduce the chances of infection.

5. Signs of Infection

You also need to seek emergency care immediately if you notice any of these signs of infections:

  • Redness of the wounds
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Warmth
  • Pus
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Fever

Depending on the severity of the infection, the doctor will give you antibiotics and/or stitches.

What to Do Before You Come for Emergency Care

Once you determine you need stitches, follow these instructions before you walk into a clinic near you:

  • Don’t try to remove an object stuck in the wound as it prevents the bleeding from worsening
  • Use a clean towel and bandage to apply pressure and stop bleeding
  • Try to elevate the wound above the heart
  • Don’t remove the bandage if it soaks in blood, just put another one on top of it
  • If your child is injured, don’t allow them to drink or eat. Chances are the doctors will give medication before stitching and eating will slow the effectiveness of the drugs.
  • Clean the wound but don’t use hydrogen or iodine which can irritate the wounds. Plus, make sure you clean your hands before dressing the wound and use a clean bandage to cover it.

How to Care for Your Stitches

Monitor the wounds and stitches for any infection. Try to keep the area clean and dry, but our doctor will give you instructions on how to prevent infections. Avoid contact sports, don’t scratch the stitches regardless of the urge to do so, and avoid swimming to protect the area from water and promote proper healing.

Take Away

It’s not easy to know when to get stitches because even minor cuts can cause profuse bleeding. Try to apply pressure on the wound, if the bleeding persists after ten minutes, then visit our urgent care clinic. However, continue to apply pressure until the wound is examined by the doctor.