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When to Go to Urgent Care for Stitches

  • Category: General
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When to Go to Urgent Care for Stitches

Accidents happen, and an injury—such as a cut, scratch, laceration, or wound—resulting from it is not uncommon. But how do you determine whether you need medical attention, and more importantly, what kind of medical attention do you need? When is it necessary to go to urgent care? How serious does your wound need to be to go to the ER? Sometimes it’s easy to believe a cut isn’t a big deal, and as long as it stops bleeding, you might think you can let it heal on its own, but there are ways to determine the level of care you need to understand its severity. 

Because cuts or lacerations penetrate the skin, usually by a sharp object, it quickly introduces bacteria into your system. This means treatment needs to be administered as soon as possible before it turns into an infection with severe consequences. Most urgent care centers are a great place to receive medical care because of their convenient treatment options, accessibility, cost-effectiveness and availability in most areas. Urgent care providers also offer the ability to prescribe medications if needed and recommend a higher level of care if they deem it necessary. 

But ultimately, how do you determine urgent care is the right place for your skin injury? There are a few key elements that can help you determine that kind of wound care and if it includes non-emergent medical treatment: 

1. Deep cut on hands, fingers or face 

If your deep cut is on any of these areas, seek medical attention right away. Injuries like this can lead to weakness, numbness, swelling and also bruising. These are susceptible areas on the body that can quickly get infected, so it’s best to treat them as soon as possible. Sutures and stitches can also prevent scarring when healed. 

2. There is excessive bleeding and/or it won’t stop 

If you have a deep cut and the blood won’t stop flowing from the wound, then stitches will most likely be needed. Bleeding from cuts should only last for about 10-15 minutes, especially when pressure is applied. 

3. If the cut doesn’t stay together 

When you get a cut or laceration, the skin on either side is supposed to come back together so the healing process can begin. However, if it continues to stay open—most likely to do with the movement of our body—then it needs medical attention. This kind of cut can also get infected and needs to be stitched so it will adequately heal. 

4. Bites from animals or humans 

Bites or cuts from wild animals are very dangerous because some of them carry rabies and other illnesses. This can also introduce contaminants, which may lead to sickness or infection. Many animals also bite deep, leaving deep puncture wounds that tear several layers deep. 

Human bites are actually a lot more commonplace and are generally seen as more dangerous than an animal bite.  

If you’ve experienced an injury that’s led to a cut or laceration, it’s important to consider seeking medical attention from an urgent care walk-in clinic. If you feel your condition is a true emergency, please call 911 for immediate attention. For all others, Baptist Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No appointments are necessary to receive medical treatment. 

Additionally, if your injury is determined to need further medical treatment from an ER, the hybrid model at Baptist Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care is the perfect place to ensure your needs are met. From quality care to transparent billing, patients are allowed to receive exceptional treatment.