When Should You Go to the ER for Stitches?
Stitches are necessary for pulling the skin back together after a deep cut, laceration, or bite. A visit to the emergency room for stitches will stop the bleeding, repair any underlying tissue damage, reduce your risk of infection, and minimize scarring. Read on to find out if your cut requires a trip to the emergency room for immediate treatment.
ER of Texas has multiple emergency rooms throughout the Dallas, Fort Worth area. Our emergency rooms are open 24/7 and staffed with board-certified emergency room physicians who can address deep gashes, bites, or other injuries that require stitches.
Signs your cut requires stitches at an emergency room
- The cut is deeper than a quarter of an inch
- A dirty or rusty object caused the cut
- Fat, muscle, bone, or other interior body structures are visible
- The cut is over a joint, and the edges open when you move the joint
- You have cosmetic concerns about the wound, i.e., it’s on your face
- After 10 – 15 minutes of pressure, the cut is still bleeding
- There is severe bleeding, or blood is spurting out of the wound
If your wound exhibits any of the above signs, visit the nearest emergency room in the Dallas Fort Worth area, including in Highland Village, Little Elm, Frisco, Hurst, Colleyville, Mansfield, Hillcrest, Sherman, and Uptown.
Remember that you may not need stitches if the cut is a simple puncture wound or if it is very shallow and has smooth edges. If you are unsure if your injury requires stitches, it is best to seek out medical attention from an emergency room near you.
What kind of stitches do you need?
When patients visit an emergency room, like ER of Texas, for a cut or laceration, the attending physician will determine if stitches are needed to keep the wound closed and, if so, what kind of stitches will be the best fit. Depending on the extent of the wound and, in some cases, its location, stitches can be placed using materials that dissolve over time and do not need to be removed. Removable stitches may be required in other instances, which means a return trip to our ER location to have the stitches removed at the appropriate time in our emergency care center.
What to expect in the emergency room when receiving stitches
ER of Texas has a unique approach when it comes to treating patients in their an emergency room care setting. They are proficient at addressing “level 3” emergencies at our ER of Texas emergency rooms emergency centers in Dallas and Fort Worth, TX, including complex lacerations and stitches. In many hospital emergency rooms, the patients with Level 3 cases, like those with a wound requiring stitches, tend to wait for the longest for treatment behind more critical patients.
When patients arrive for stitches in the emergency room, they will be seen by a board-certified ER physician. Our staff will perform a thorough physical exam to assess the cause and seriousness of your wound and discuss your medical history. The wound will be cleaned and, if applicable, stitched back together. Next, your wound will be dressed or bandaged in order for it to heal properly and keep it free from infection. An optimal treatment plan will depend on how deep or large the wound is or if it has become infected. Antibiotics could be prescribed, or certain injections may be necessary depending on the type of wound and its origin.
How to care for your stitches at home
After a visit to an emergency room for stitches, it is very important to follow the directions from a board-certified ER physician, such as those at ER of Texas. Keeping your stitches clean and covered is necessary to prevent the onset of an infection. Gently wash your wound with clean water and mild soap. If you were prescribed an antibiotic cream, apply a thin layer before you re-dress it. Ensure that you dress or bandage your wound loosely so blood flow isn’t affected, and change your dressing daily.
If you see swelling or redness or your wound becomes tender, you may have developed an infection. It is important to seek immediate medical attention and return to the facility where you were treated. We are committed to keeping all of our patients safe both during and after their visit to our emergency room.
Our ER is open 24/7 to help treat and diagnose minor and major emergencies. Our board-certified physicians are available 24 hours.