When Are Stitches Needed?

iStock_000044021306_Medium.jpgAfter you’ve suffered a cut or gash, you need to determine whether or not stitches are needed. The longer the wound remains open, the greater the risk of infection, so medical attention should be sought immediately. It’s a good idea to get your wound closed up within 6 to 8 hours after the injury occurs. Most serious wounds will require either stitches, staples or will need to be closed with a liquid bandage.

So how do you know when stitches are needed? There are a few key things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to seek medical attention after getting injured.

  • How deep is the cut? If the wound is greater than ¼ inch deep, it may need stitches. Also, if you can see yellow fatty tissue, or even bone, it’s time to see a doctor immediately.
  • How wide is the cut? If the edges of the wound are close together or look like they need to be pulled together in order to cover the exposed tissue, the cut may require stitches.
  • Where is the wound located? Any time the wound is located on an area of the body you move frequently, there is a good chance you will need stitching to keep the wound from re-opening. For instance, if the wound is located on one of your knees or fingers, consider getting it stitched up.

If you end up seeking medical care for the wound, you should also ask your doctor about whether or not a tetanus shot is needed. Tetanus shots last no more than 10 years, so check with your doctor to see if you need a tetanus booster.

If you’ve suffered a serious cut or gash, consider seeking medical attention at Denton Regional Urgent Care Center. We offer convenient hours and online check-in to provide you a quick and easy experience.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.


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