Urgent Care: How To Tell if a Cut Needs Stitches
Wondering how to tell whether a cut needs a visit to urgent care for stitches? Read on to find out. When it comes to minor injuries like cuts and scrapes, you can often treat them at home. In some instances of cuts, however, medical treatment is necessary.
Urgent care: When does a cut require stitches?
The medical professionals at an urgent care clinic can assess whether someone needs sutures by looking at their wound. Stitches are often necessary due to certain reasons, like if the cut is too deep or jagged to heal without treatment. The following are situations where someone might need to get stitches. Knowing this will help them make an informed decision after an injury.
It is imperative to get urgent medical assistance if the cut is larger than a half-inch or deeper than a quarter-inch since stitches will be necessary. Stitches are required to halt the bleeding from a wound of this magnitude. However, this does not exclude the need to treat a minor wound. It is possible to have a severe cut and dangerous infection from stepping on a nail or being bit by a dog.
Cuts in certain locations have a harder time healing due to their location. Patients will require sutures if they suffer a cut on the face, hands, or genitals because of the risk of infection.
Stitches may be required for some cuts if the body's movement will prevent them from closing. Stitches are likely to be required if a cut is close to a joint so that it can heal properly. For instance, walking might impede the healing of a cut on the knee because of movement.
Severity of bleeding
After 10 to 15 minutes of elevation and pressure, a cut should stop bleeding partially or completely. If the bleeding persists, an artery or vein may have been affected as well. Stitches will be necessary in this case. Get medical attention immediately if any of the following applies: The blood has a brilliant red color instead of dark red, blood pulses from the cut, the victim uses blood-thinning meds, bleeding persists or increases. All these cases require stitches and prompt medical assistance.
The cut's appearance
Examine the cut closely. If the incision is so deep that fat, muscle, or bone tissue are visible, the wound will not heal correctly without stitches. Visual inspection of a bleeding cut is not always easy. A severe cut needs immediate medical treatment if separate layers of tissue are visible in the wound. Seek medical help if there is excessive bleeding.
Cause of the injury
Straight-edged cuts from clean blades (like kitchen knives) normally heal nicely. They are also less prone to infection. These cuts may not need sutures. Other sharp objects tend to cause messy cuts, and there is a higher risk of infection. The wound may need further medical attention and sutures if the cut is from a dirty or rusty tool, a scratch or bite from an animal, or glass shards.
Additionally, patients may require tetanus treatment if the wound was inflicted by a rusty tool or rabies treatment if bitten by a wild animal.
Getting stitches at an urgent care center
Before proceeding with treatment for the cut, the doctor will first do a physical examination and get a thorough medical history. After that, the wound is treated with antibiotic cream before being stitched up. Then, the wound is dressed or bandaged. Patients must make sure they clean and change the dressing on the wounds every day. The dressing should be loose enough to allow blood circulation otherwise the healing process will be slower.
Types of stitches
Medical professionals can determine the appropriate kind of suture for a cut. The different types of stitches include:
- Adhesive tape: Steri-strips are used for minor skin wounds. They are ideal for a wound that is not too deep or has a lot of sharp edges. In most cases, they will come off on their own after approximately 10 days
- Sutures: This is done to two separate parts of skin together. These stitches can be permanent or absorbable. Wounds that take a long time to heal or involve muscles or blood arteries may benefit from regular sutures
- Glue: This tissue adhesive is used for wounds on the face or in the groin or lacerations. It leaves fewer scars, is less prone to infection, and does not need the removal of sutures
You can get prompt treatment for a cut at an urgent care center. The medical professionals there offer different services, including stitches for all wounds such as cuts, lacerations, and animal bites. When you need quick medical attention, visit an urgent care center.
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