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When to Go to Urgent Care for Stitches

When to Go to Urgent Care for Stitches

Wound care is just one aspect of urgent care, and urgent care clinics regularly treat patients by stitching their wounds, but not all wounds will require stitches.

You can often wash the wound and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. You will also likely need to apply a bandage. This is true for more minor scrapes and cuts.

However, lacerations frequently require stitches. The following information will help you decide if you need to visit an urgent care center for stitches.

The Wound Is Deep, Wide, or Long

The size of your laceration is one of the most important indications that it requires stitches. The laceration's length, width and depth all play a role.

Wounds longer or deeper than half an inch typically require stitches. You will need stitches if the injury is deep enough to expose bone, muscle, or fatty tissue. You also likely need stitches if the wound is wide or gaping.

Remember that while you should visit an urgent care center for a wound meeting any of those descriptions, you may receive treatment other than stitches. Steri-Strips are sterile adhesive strips commonly used to close more shallow, minor wounds. In the case of head wounds and different situations, staples are a common alternative to stitches.

The Wound Bleeds Profusely or Doesn't Stop Bleeding

Another indication that you need stitches at your local urgent care comes from blood loss. Most wounds will bleed a little, but if it bleeds profusely and does not stop, you will likely need stitches. Apply pressure, and if the bleeding continues for at least 10 minutes, head to urgent care. Don't wait 10 minutes if blood is spurting, as you may have severed an artery.

The Wound Is on a Joint, the Face, or the Genitals

Even more minor lacerations on specific body parts should be checked at an urgent care center. Certain body parts are more sensitive and likely to require stitches or another treatment method.

For example, wounds on joints typically require stitches. Urgent care physicians must also evaluate the laceration to confirm that no tendons or ligaments are damaged.

You also want medical professionals to evaluate any lacerations on or close to your genitals or face immediately. It is essential to check cuts by the eyes and eyelids.

The Wound Comes From a Bite or Nail

Depending on the cause of the wound, you may need a visit to an urgent care center, not for stitches but to prevent infection or other diseases.

For example, if you have a wound from an animal or human bite, it may need antibiotics, a tetanus booster and potentially a rabies vaccine in addition to stitches. Wounds from rusty nails or similar objects and wounds with debris also require medical treatment to prevent infection.

When There Is No Debate – You Need to Visit an Urgent Care Center

If your laceration fits one of the following descriptions, you need to visit an urgent care facility, whether for stitches or other treatment:

  • A foreign object is still impaling the area.
  • There is spurting blood.
  • The wound is on the genitals, face, or eyelid.
  • You cannot move your joints.
  • You have lost sensation or are experiencing numbness.
  • A high-pressure projectile causes the injury.
  • The wound is from a contaminated object, like a rusty nail.
  • The wound is from an animal or human bite.
  • There are other injuries, such as broken bones.

Receive Stitches and Laceration Treatment at Bayhealth Total Care’s Emergency and Urgent Care Center

Bayhealth Total Care’s Emergency and Urgent Care Center

At Bayhealth Total Care’s Emergency and Urgent Care Center, our primary goal is to provide the residents of Sussex County with exceptional service and the proper billing for the care they need. Our combined emergency room and urgent care in Milton is fully equipped to handle everything from allergies to chest pain 24/7 with on-site labs, x-ray, ultrasound and CT.

Every patient at our ER and urgent care walk-in clinic is seen by an ER-trained physician at every visit, regardless of the level of care they need. Our approach makes care more affordable by avoiding the higher cost of the emergency room if patients only require urgent care services. Our ER and urgent care clinic is open 24/7.

Bayhealth Total Care’s Emergency and Urgent Care Center is located at 18383 Hudson Road, Milton, DE 19968.