Urgent Care: When Are Stiches Needed?
Any deep, bloody injury probably needs stitches and the place to get stitches is urgent care. An injury needing stitches is beyond the ability of most people to treat themselves. It is highly inadvisable to try. First aid, even from a competent person, is not an alternative to proper treatment at urgent care.
How much blood means someone needs stitches?
Slashes and cuts through the skin are often called “sharps” injuries. They may also result in damage to the arteries, muscles and organs. In all such cases, stitches to close the wound may be just the last of many other treatments required. Shallow, bloody wounds may only require staples, rather than full sutures. This is, however, a decision for urgent care.
As a rule, merely asking if a trip to urgent care is in order implies that the answer is yes. If first aid cannot stop the bleeding, stitches and urgent care are required as soon as possible. Cuts to arteries distinctively squirt blood and can result in death if not treated with speed. Less serious injuries may still become infected if not properly treated.
All but the mildest cuts may require stitches. The epidermis is only a few millimeters thick before any cut pierces the fatty layer beneath the skin. Injuries this deep are highly prone to infection and need urgent care. Shallower cuts may still draw blood and be too wide to heal well without stitches. Any injury requiring more than a bandage is a candidate for stitches at urgent care.
What exactly are “stitches”?
Doctors use slim threads — stitches — to close a wound. They may be literal stitches, using a curved needle and surgical thread. Once upon a time, stitches would be manually removed once the wound healed. Today, stitches are made from a special thread that naturally dissolves over time. For shallow wounds, “stitches” may also be small staples holding the skin together.
Other reasons for needing stitches
Not all stitches are the result of an injury. Any surgery or operation is almost certain to require stitches to close the incisions. Many forms of cosmetic surgery also result in stitches. Urgent care, however, deals with stitches resulting from an injury.
Not all injuries requiring stitches are obvious. Internal injuries may have no visible signs on the skin, but then require a surgical incision to treat. Some injuries arriving in urgent care may not require stitches there but will ultimately be sutured following surgery. Urgent care still plays a role in these cases, taking initial care of the person and passing them on further treatment.
Getting to urgent care for stitches
A good way to get to urgent care would be by ambulance. An injury occasioning a trip to hospital generally precludes driving there. Only if someone else is able to immediately drive the person should alternatives to an ambulance be considered. Even if competent first aid is performed at the scene, further help is still required. The injured person should still proceed immediately to urgent care.
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