We’ve all experienced times when we or one of our friends or loved ones gets a scrape, gash, or cut and we have to quickly determine if it’s serious. While most cuts and scratches heal on their own with a Band-aid ® and some TLC, others are deeper and need medical care, and may possibly require stitches. Here we answer the question often asked: when to get stitches.
At Grassroots Healthcare, our team here in Tulsa, Oklahoma offers quick and expert urgent care services when you have a cut, gash, or wound. In this blog, we share some crucial information to help you determine when stitches are necessary.
First steps when you get a cut
It’s perfectly natural to panic when you see blood, but it’s important to stay calm and follow these steps:
- Wash the cut with warm water
- Use a soft towel or cloth to apply pressure to slow the bleeding
- Elevate the wounded area above your heart, if possible
If the bleeding slows and the cut tries to seal automatically, it’s likely that it will heal up on its own over the next week or so.
I didn’t get stitches- now what?
Clean the wound: Thoroughly clean the affected area with mild soap and water. Gently remove any dirt or debris to reduce the risk of infection. Avoid scrubbing the wound too vigorously.
- Apply an antiseptic: After cleaning the wound, apply an over-the-counter antiseptic solution or ointment to help prevent infection. Follow the product instructions carefully.
- Cover the wound: Use a sterile adhesive bandage or sterile gauze pad to cover the wound. This protects it from dirt, bacteria, and further injury. Change the bandage regularly, at least once a day or more frequently if it becomes soiled.
- Monitor for signs of infection: Keep a close eye on the wound for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, warmth, pus, or worsening pain. If you notice any concerning symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.
- Keep the wound clean and dry: Avoid exposing the wound to excessive moisture, such as soaking in water or prolonged exposure to sweat. Moisture can impede healing and increase the risk of infection.
- Support healing with proper nutrition: Maintain a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support the body’s healing process. Adequate protein intake is particularly important for wound healing.
- Protect the wound: Be cautious of activities that could reopen or aggravate the wound. Avoid putting excessive pressure or strain on the area, and consider using protective coverings, such as a bandage or dressing, during physical activities.
- Seek medical attention if needed: If the wound shows signs of worsening or fails to heal properly, or if you develop symptoms of infection, consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and appropriate treatment.
When a cut is severe
To determine if a cut is severe, consider these factors:
- Is it deep?
- Is it longer than a half-inch?
- Does it have dirt, grime, or debris in it?
- Is anything sticking out of it, such as a limb, nail, glass, or metal?
- Are the edges rough and do they lack uniformity?
- Can you see bone or muscle?
- Is it on your face or neck?
- Is blood spurting or pouring even after you’ve applied pressure?
If you answer yes to any one of the questions above, then you should proceed to the nearest urgent care center or emergency room for medical attention.
Our professional team ensures a painless procedure, thorough wound care instructions, and timely stitch removal. Contact our urgent care services for immediate assistance.
If you have an injury that requires stitches, rest assured that our team will provide comprehensive care throughout the process. Here’s what you can expect:
Thorough Cleaning and Numbing
- To prepare for the suturing procedure, we will meticulously clean the affected area. Our goal is to create a sterile environment to prevent infection. Additionally, we will administer a local anesthetic to ensure you remain comfortable and free from any discomfort during the stitching process.
- Before suturing the wound, we will conduct a quick X-ray to ensure that all debris and foreign objects are completely cleared from the area. This step helps ensure the proper healing of the wound.
Precise Stitching Technique
- Using medical-grade thread, our experienced providers will skillfully close the wound by suturing it together tightly. The time required for stitching typically ranges from a few minutes to complete, depending on the size of the cut or wound.
Detailed Aftercare Instructions
- Following the procedure, our team will provide you with detailed instructions for caring for your stitched wound at home. These instructions are designed to ensure safe and effective wound healing. We will also discuss signs of potential infection, such as red streaks, swelling, pus, or drainage, that you should monitor closely.
- In approximately one to two weeks, you will return to our facility to have the stitches removed. This simple and relatively quick process ensures the wound has adequately healed, allowing for the best cosmetic outcome.
For an expert evaluation of your cut or wound to determine if stitches are necessary, do not hesitate to take advantage of our reliable urgent care services. We are committed to serving you promptly and effectively. Contact us now for immediate assistance.