When To Get Stitches? First Aid Rules You Need To Know!
At some point, you may get cut, and knowing when to get stitches after the cut is crucial for everyone. Most of the time, the wounds are minor and may heal without treatment. However, some injuries r cuts need stitches to heal completely.
When to get stitches on your cut depends upon several factors sc as how deep the amount is and where it is located. Some minor wounds may bleed more than more extensive wounds, making it challenging to know when to get stitches or treat your cut at home.
Sutures or stitches are particular kinds of threads used to close a wound for it to heal. They help stop bleeding and decrease the chances of infection on the injury site. Stitches also help lessen the chances of scarring.
Let’s see how to know when to get stitches for your wound to heal correctly.
When to get stitches
1. When to get stitches- size as a deciding factor
The size of the damage is an essential indicator of when to get stitches or do you require stitches or not. This includes the death and length of the damage. You may likely get stitches if:
- the cut is more prolonged or deeper than half an inch.
- The cut is gaping or wide
- the cut is deep enough to expose muscle, fatty tissue, or bones.
The size of the laceration also plays a part in how the injury is closed. Doctors can occasionally manage minor and shallow wounds with the help of sterile adhesive strips known as Steri-Strips. Staples might also be used as an alternative to stitches, particularly when treating head wounds.
2. When to get stitches- how to determine the amount of blood
A cut that is bleeding continuously and doe not stop even after 10 minutes of applying direct pressure presumably needs stitches. Discharging blood might be an indication of a severed artery.
Get medical care immediately when bleeding does not stop with applied force or blood pouring or squirting from the injury.
3. When to get stitches- location as a deciding factor
Cuts on specific parts of the body can expand the likelihood of requiring stitches. Wounds across or on a joint will potentially need stitches, mainly if the injury spreads when you move that joint. There is a chance of injuring a tendon or ligament in such areas.
As per Cleveland Clinic, cuts either nearby or on the genitals and cuts on cosmetically essential areas, such as your face, must be evaluated instantly. Cuts to regions of the face such as the eyelids are particularly worrying as they can damage the functioning of the area.
4. When to get stitches- Cause as a deciding factor
The reason behind a few wounds makes treatment more necessary. This is mainly the matter with puncture wounds or injuries caused by an animal or human bite, which might require antibiotics or tetanus booster, as well as sutures.
The chances of infection are higher with these kinds of wounds. Rabies is also worrying when the cause is an animal bite.
These kinds of wounds must be assessed by a doctor even if they are not deep enough. This is particularly true if they are caused by a corroded or contaminated material like a nail or if the injury includes debris, like broken gravel or glass.
5. When to get stitches- additional signs to look for
- You also require stitches when something is embedded within the wound or cut, such as a glass object that caused the cut.
- It would help if you had stitches when another object is sticking out of it, for example, a twig.
Signs of infection to closely administer
Visit the nearest clinic right away if you suspect any signs of an infection, such as:
- drainage or pus
- tenderness and pain
- increased swelling
- red streaks spreading out of the injury
- redness surrounding the wound.
An infection needs treatment using some antibiotics and might also require stitches.
Basic first aid for regular cuts
Below given are some essential first aid for harmful cuts that might require sutures:
- Apply force using a bandage or clean cloth and heighten the injured location.
- For gushing bleeding, persist in holding the force for about 5 to 10 minutes without pausing to look at the laceration.
- If excessive blood absorbs the cloth, place one more cloth on top — do not remove the original piece of cloth or bandage.
- Once bleeding ends, clean your hands and then wash the injury gently with water and soap without scrubbing harshly as it may lead to bleeding again.
- If feasible, remove debris and dirt from the site by allowing the warm water from the tap to flow over it.
- Wrap the wound with a bandage or gauze.
Seek immediate medical care
Some cuts need immediate medical care. Call 911 or go to the closest emergency unit for any of the given:
- a cut that discharges blood, which might signify a cut artery.
- a wound induced by a foreign entity puncturing the area
- a shot or other high-pressure projectile material caused the cut
- a puncture wound generated by a corroded or contaminated object
- an animal or human bite
- a cut on the genitals, eyelids, or face
- not able to move a joint
- loss of sensation or numbness
- a laceration escorted by another injury, such as a head injury or a broken bone.
A health care provider will remove out the stitches afterward. How long the stitches stay in is based on the type of cut and where the cut was located. Sometimes, healthcare providers put tiny white sticky tapes (called butterfly bandages) on the stitches to provide them additional strength. These tapes start to loosen in some days and drop off independently.
Most injuries, even those healed by stitches, depart a small scar. Due to the damage of the deeper layer of the skin, the body utilizes the protein collagen to assist fill in the injured area. The filled-in area grows into a scar. Over time, a few wounds may fade or get less visible.
The Bottom Line
It is not always easy to understand when to get stitches. Even minor cuts may cause bleeding that may seem excessive. Do your most OK to stay clear-minded and use direct pressure on the injury to try to block the bleeding. Cleansing the place of injury gently can decrease your risk of developing an infection.
Get emergency medical care for critical injuries and bleeding that stops after 10 minutes of applying direct pressure. Resume to use force and maintain the area elevated on the way to the clinic. Sutures can help minimize the chances of scarring and protect the wound from bacteria or infections.