when to get stitches

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by furryrabidbunny, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. furryrabidbunny macrumors 6502

    furryrabidbunny

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    Mesa, AZ
    #1
    i dont like going to the hospital or urgent care but what is a good rule of thumb for the need for stitches? i have a knife whose blade opens when in a pocket... caught my palm on it. i have a once inch cut that is bleeding pretty bad.

    i pulled out the first aid kit and put some cream and a tight bandage on it... how long should i give it ot bleed out till i go?
     
  2. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

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    #2
    It depends on how deep the cut is, really. But if it's still bleeding by the time you read this, you should definitely go.
     
  3. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #3
    Yea, you should go hospital to make sure you haven't cut anything important in there. I'd have been dialing 999 as soon as the knife went in!
     
  4. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #4
    Lol, what country are you in where the emergency number is 999? I think that would get pressed accidentally a lot. I believe the reason the U.S. uses 911 is because they're hard to press accidentally.
     
  5. r6girl Administrator/Editor

    r6girl

    Staff Member

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    #5
    definitely agree that if there's a lot of blood that won't stop easily, stitches are in order.

    also, i'd suggest that if you are experience some tingling or other indication of cut nerves around the cut, getting it checked out by a doctor would be in order. i got a pretty bad cut once (stupidly trying to catch a boning knife as it slipped out of my hands) and cut a finger deep enough that the tip of my finger above the cut was numb even though it wasn't bleeding a lot. it still isn't entirely right to this day - definitely should have seen a doctor for that one...
     
  6. furryrabidbunny thread starter macrumors 6502

    furryrabidbunny

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    Mesa, AZ
    #6
    doesn't look too bad anymore

    bleeding stopped heres a pic... it really doesn't look that deep. i can't believe my first responder first aid kit didn't have any antibacterial products at all. does anyone know if vionex is okay to put on open cuts?
     

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  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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  8. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

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    #8
    Rinse with saline rather than smearing on the antibiotic creams. most of the time they are not neccessary.

    Tea tree oil is a good way to clean.
     
  9. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

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    #9
    999 is UK. Doesn't get pressed 'by accident' at all, really. Not by me, anyway.
     
  10. furryrabidbunny thread starter macrumors 6502

    furryrabidbunny

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    #10
    no kidding

    the damn thing is a 65 dollar s&w too.
     
  11. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #11
    That doesn't look deep at all. Should be fine without stitches. You might want to consider a knife with a lock for opening, like this one. In addition to the torsion bar, it has little plastic lock at the tip when it's folded.
     
  12. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #12
    This one looks and sounds like it doesn't require treatment. Here are some rules of thumb for stitches/closures:

    • Wounds that gape and will not stay closed on their own;
    • Wounds that are more than 1/4" deep and 3/4" long;
    • Wounds that are deep enough for you to see fat or bone;
    • Wounds that you don't want to scar; and
    • Wounds that are deep near joints or tendons.

    If you are not bleeding profusely, and if the bleeding slows substantially after 15 minutes of pressure (and in the case of your hands, elevation), then that's a pretty good indication that you don't need to see a doctor. You can cut yourself down to the bone in some areas of your body without needing significant first aid. I've cut myself down to the bone twice without requiring hospitalization, but I did perform first aid on myself.

    Additionally, most puncture wounds don't require treatment.

    You have between 6 and 24 hours to close most wounds before an increased risk of infection. Since you're knife was clean and the cut wasn't ragged, chances are good you'll be fine.
     
  13. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #13
    That would be the UK. We also use 112 (little known fact) for the old rotary dial type phones as having to do 999 on them takes ages and not the best in an emergency situation :).

    As for stitches I had to have some after falling over on some glass. I had to go through 2 sets of dressings while in A&E because I was bleeding so much :(.
     
  14. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #14
    Depending on what punctures you, you might want to get a tetanus booster.
     
  15. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

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    Pittsburgh
    #15
    Stitches are generally required for a wound where the edges won't approximate - push the sides together, and they flap back open, you usually need a stitch or glue. Much more important than stitches, though, are the following points:
    (1) Tetanus shot. If you have not had a tetanus shot within the last 10 years, or if you're not sure when your last tetanus shot was, you need one ASAP. They're only effective in the first 72 hours after a wound, preferably the first 24-48.
    (2) Clean it out with soap & water. Don't bother with 'antibacterial' creams and such; they don't work, and some will actually make the problem worse.

    I'd have to disagree. Some of the worst infections I've seen have been from puncture wounds, because there's no way to effectively clean them. The worst puncture wounds are from bites. Human bites and cat bites are especially bad - 80% of cat bites get infected.

    For the original poster - job one is making sure you've had a tetanus shot. If you haven't, or you aren't sure, stop whatever you're doing and go get one. You really, really don't want to get lockjaw.
     
  16. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #16
    I mentioned clean cuts, in the last paragraph. I probably should have made it a bullet point, but I was more addressing the question stitches than the question of infection.

    Those wouldn't be clean punctures, they'd be bites. Bites usually aren't just clean punctures and involve some level of tearing. My advice was aimed at self-inflicted accident wounds, animal related injuries are a completely different subject.
     
  17. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #17
    Starting near that line that runs parallel to your hand/perpendicular to your arm, from pinky side curving up to near your middle finger (does everyone have roughly similar hand lines? I have a line there, maybe you do?), well I was setting down this piece of scenery for a theatre production and it had a piece of aluminum angle iron stuff that wasn't put flush up against the side, and sliding my hand along the slide, it sliced my hand open from that line, perpendicular to it, for about 2.5 or 3 inches. It was about a quarter of an inch deep cut? I was building a set, no time to lose, so I grabbed some tape and taped some paper towels to my palm. Now I'm afraid to get my future told by a palmreader....there's still a line on my palm and that was three years ago or more....
     
  18. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #18
    Striking a stage after a blues festival, pinched a finger in a mic stand. Electrical tape and TP. :D
     
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #19
    For stitchs no not always go off the bleeding as a way to know when to get them. I have had to get stitches twice now in cuts that hardly bleed at all. One was on my arm when it was cut by a watch it just wept some blood but really I would never of though anything of it expect for how deep ti was. The other was above my lip from a dog bit Both of those hardly bleed both needed stitches.

    Stitches also are good for reducing scaring. The one on my lip one can only see it if I shaved bettween 1-3 days ago after that point it gone. The only reason one can see it during then 1-3 day time span is if they look closely they can see the line. Now the one on my chin you can see if you know it is there and that is only really because I support some facial hair.
     
  20. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

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    #20
    999 was the original number, and was chosen because it was simple to make the number free to dial on a payphone, it is also easy to dial. 112 is the EU standard number, and is therefore also used in the UK. You'll even get through if you dial 911. For a real little known fact, 101 is the number to call for non-emergency situations.
     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #21
    Time for a Spyderco. The only time mine's ever bit me was when I was being careless.

    If you can still find one, I highly recommend the Dodo. Bought that for my wife to replace her previous Spyderco that she lost for about two weeks. By the time she found it, her new knife was already in her hands...

    Her's is in matte black though. I don't really like the blue.
     
  22. dobbin macrumors 6502a

    dobbin

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    Location:
    England
    #22
    Dave00 is right - cleaning the wound and getting a tetanus injection (shot) is often as important as getting stiches.

    I cut my leg recently and had 7 stitches. First time I've had stitches, so that was interesting!
     

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  23. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    Location:
    Toronto
    #24
    My rule of thumb is that if won't close after a couple of minutes (or it's a gusher) then get to the hospital!

    It's funny this came up, a few weeks ago I cut my hand on a kitchen knife that was blade-up in the dishwasher... I wanted to clear out the utensil tray with both hands; I guess wasn't looking where my left hand was going!

    At the hospital they flushed the wound with hydrogen peroxide (my that stung) and I got a tetanus shot. When I was getting sewn up (six stitches) I was told I nicked a vein (which required an internal stitch), and the tendon in my index finger. :eek:

    Lesson learned, all utensils are now pointy bits down, and sharp knives are designated to the back end!

    And for your viewing pleasure a pic.. though this macro shot makes the cut look shorter, it's actually about 4cm long.
     

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