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Does Urgent Care Do Stitches?

What are your options if you accidentally step on a nail in your garage in the middle of the night? Most probably, your regular doctor’s office is closed. Would you go to the nearest emergency room?

Well, that’s not always a great or cost-effective option.

Emergency rooms have exorbitant prices and are always busy. Surprisingly, many people are not aware that you can get treatment for most non-life-threatening conditions, including cuts from urgent care centers.

More importantly, urgent care centers are widely accessible, open for extended hours, and affordable.

Consider visiting a nearby and trusted urgent care center whenever you have an open wound needing immediate medical attention and stitching.

What Are Stitches?

A stitch on your skin is similar to those on the clothes— a run of thread that holds a wound together. A physician can use materials like nylon or silk to patch your skin. In the case of a mouth wound, the doctor uses a material that dissolves on its own.

If you have a wound, a stitch minimizes the scar, lowers the chances of bleeding and infection, and enhances healing.

How to Tell If You Need Stitches

You might need stitches if you accidentally chop yourself while preparing for dinner.

First, assess if it’s an emergency and whether you need to call an ambulance.

If you encounter the following signs, you need immediate care.

  • Excessive bleeding

  • The wound or cut doesn’t stop bleeding after 10 minutes of firm pressure

  • Comes with emergency symptoms like fast breathing, vomiting, dizziness, or unconsciousness

  • It is to the eye or throat

If it’s not an emergency, here’s how to tell if you need stitches.

The Size of the Cut

The size of the cut or tear in the flesh matters when determining if it needs stitches.

Your wound may need a stitch if:

  • It’s longer or more profound than half an inch.

  • If it has exposed fatty, muscle, or bone tissue

  • It’s wide and open

  • Has ragged edges

  • The wound has debris such as dirt, gravel, or glass

The size of the wound also determines how the wound is closed. A minor injury of less than half an inch may only need sterile adhesive tape. On the other hand, the physician may use staples instead of stitches for an injury on the head.

Location of the Wound?

The location of your wound increases its severity and the need for stitching. See a doctor if the cut is located in any of these areas:

  • Face

  • Hand

  • Mouth

  • Genitals

  • Touching any bone

  • Near or around a joint such as an elbow or knee

Cuts near the genitals or cosmetically significant areas like eyes should be examined by a physician immediately. Similarly, cuts on sensitive areas of the face, like eyelids, are concerning because they can impair functioning.

Cause of the Wound

You may also need a tetanus booster plus medication if an animal or human bite causes your wound. If left untreated, the risk of infection increases and can lead to rabies in case of a dog bite.

Also, get treatment if the wound is caused by a dirty or rusty metal or pointed object that might have pierced your skin, especially at the bottom of the shoe.

A physician should constantly evaluate these wounds, even if they’re minor.

The Amount of Blood

Your wound most likely needs stitches if:

  • The cut won’t stop bleeding after 10 minutes of direct pressure

  • Bleeding is enough to soak a bandage thoroughly

  • It is spurting blood, which may be a sign of a damaged artery

Seek immediate medical attention if blood is gushing from the wound.

If there are Signs of Infection

You’ll need to see a doctor for stitching and medical care if you see signs of infections, including:

  • Fever

  • Feeling as if you’re about to throw up

  • Increased swelling

  • Pain and tenderness

  • Redness around the wound

  • The wound is sore, warm, or oozing pus

Basic First Aid For Cuts That Require Stitching

  • Apply pressure on the wound using a bandage or a clean cloth

  • If the cut is profusely bleeding, apply pressure for 5-10 minutes as you monitor the wound

  • Place another cloth on top of it if bleeding soaks the covering.

  • Once the bleeding stops, wash the hand, followed by a soft scrubbing with soap and water.

  • Cover the wound with a bandage.

Additional Precautions to Take Before Seeing a Doctor

  • Leave Foreign Objects In: If there’s an object, such as a nail in the skin, leave it there. It can prevent bleeding from becoming worse. Even so, if the foreign material inside the laceration is small and you can remove it quickly, do so.

  • Discourage a Child From Eating or Drinking: Let the child wait longer before going in for stitches. Instead, give them something to calm their pain.

  • Clean the Wound: If possible, clean the wound with tap water and mild soap, then pat it dry with a clean towel.

  • Treat the pain: Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to calm the pain; however, consult your doctor if you have an underlying medical condition or are taking medication.

When to Seek Immediate Care From an Urgent Care Center

Visit the nearest urgent care for any of the following:

  • An animal or human bite

  • A cut caused by a foreign object penetrating the area

  • If you cannot move a joint

  • Any laceration on the face, eyelids, or genitals

  • An injury caused by a contaminated or rusty metal such as nails

  • If you feel numbness or loss of sensation

  • A wound with a secondary injury, such as a head injury or broken bone

  • A wound caused by a bullet or high-speed projectile

  • A cut with gushing blood indicates a severed artery.

Heal With Confidence; Choose Lifeline Urgent Care For Professional Stitches

Your teen daughter needs immediate medical attention if they fall in a driveway and are profusely bleeding. In addition to limited healthcare options at night, an open wound risks an infection if left untreated.

Fortunately, urgent care centers are open for extended hours, making it an ideal option for anyone looking for medical attention at night or on weekends.

At Lifeline Urgent Care Center, we are a well-equipped and adequately staffed health facility that opens 7 days a week.

Contact us online or call us at 281.771.1144 to book an appointment.

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