When to Seek Medical Attention for Your Laceration

As much as no one wants them to, injuries happen. You might accidentally cut yourself when cooking or opening a package, or your kids might fall on their bike and scrape up their knee, but when do those injuries warrant more care than washing them off and bandaging them up?

Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team has some answers, so read on.

  • Here’s what to do: First, evaluate the size and depth of the cut. You should seek medical attention if the wound is deeper or longer than half an inch, opens so wide that you can’t get the edges together with just a little pressure or has ragged edges.

  • What to do after: Keep track of how much the cut is bleeding. If it hasn’t stopped bleeding in 10 minutes, even after applying direct pressure for that length of time, seek medical attention.

  • What to do next: Take the location of the cut into account. Lacerations on places like the face, joints, hand, genitals and near the eye will require medical attention.

  • After that: Do some basic first aid on the cut. Even if you think it might require stitches, apply pressure on the laceration, rinse it under running water and put a dry bandage or gauze on it to keep the bleeding under control beforehand.

  • One more thing to keep in mind: The cause of the laceration. If the wound was caused by something like an animal bite or a rusty, pointy object, seek medical attention right away. You might need a tetanus shot in addition to stitches.

  • Also: Watch out for signs of infection. If there are red streaks around the laceration, increased swelling, pus, or you or your child has a fever of 100 F or more, seek medical attention ASAP.

  • Action steps to take: If the cut falls into any of these categories, there is a strong chance that you or your child will need stitches. Visit our AFC center ASAP to avoid any further complications.

  • Doctor recommendations: It can be easy to panic when suffering a laceration but remember the first-aid basics when it does happen: Apply pressure, rinse the wound with cold water and bandage it up. Also, if something like a nail is stuck in the skin, leave it in before arriving at the doctor’s office as that may keep the bleeding at bay.

Do you need medical attention for your cut or laceration? If so, don’t wait to get the medical care you need—visit our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team today!