We’ve all had a small cut or laceration before. They aren’t fun, but they are easy to clean, put a band-aid on and take care of at home. But when is a cut serious enough that it requires a trip to the emergency room?
One of the top reasons we see patients here in the emergency room is for cuts. But the truth is, not all cuts and lacerations require a visit to the ER. When it comes to cuts and lacerations, here are a few instances where I would recommend a quick visit to Elitecare 24 Hour Emergency Room.
When Does a Cut Require an ER Visit?
- If the laceration is deep and exposes deeper layers of skin.
- Gaping open, or you can’t push the edges together with gentle pressure.
- Located on or across a joint.
- From an animal or human bite
- Anything caused by a foreign object impaling the area.
- High pressure impacts, such as gunshot wounds.
- Made by a dirty or rusty object.
- If you can’t stop the bleeding.
- On the face or near the genitals.
Important Things To Remember
Even if you make the decision to come in, there are things you should consider prior to your visit to the ER because of a laceration.
- Leave foreign objects alone. If you’ve been impaled by a small or large object, leave it in and let the doctors take care of it. You cannot be sure how much damage the object has caused and by removing it has the potential to cause even more damage or devastating consequences.
- Bites or dirty wounds need special treatment as well. If you’ve been bitten or if your cut was caused by something contaminated by rust or dirt, you need to visit the ER immediately.
- If you have not had a Tetanus booster in the last ten years, plan on receiving one during the visit.
- Gently clean the lacerated area before you arrive. You can use tap water with liquid antibacterial soap. Normal soap is fine as well. Avoid cleaning agents that might potentially damage the tissue.
- Avoid anything to eat or drink before your visit to the ER. There is a chance, depending on the severity of the wound that sedation may be necessary. Many times this is helpful with smaller children that could move during suturing.
- Lastly, be sure to elevate and put pressure on the wound. The goal here is to slow or stop as much bleeding as possible.
Hopefully, if you suffer from a laceration it will be minor enough to take care of at home. Keep it clean, keep it covered, and be sure to keep an eye on it. If you begin to suspect signs of infections, seek medical help immediately.
We hope that you avoid any kind of cuts, but should disaster strike, rest easy knowing that I, along with our team of ER doctors and nurses here at Elitecare Emergency Hospital are ready to deliver the quickest and best available treatment.