A Guide for Laceration Care
Lacerations and other minor injuries often seem worse than they are, so knowing when to seek medical attention isn’t always easy. Every situation is different, but having an awareness over basic rules for first aid will help you make the right decision in a high-stress situation.
Right After the Cut: What are the First Steps for Laceration Treatment?
If you’re cut, the first thing you need to do is stop the bleeding. You can do this by applying pressure to the area. It’s best to use a clean towel or tissue, but you can use your bare hands if you don’t have a better option.
If your lacerations are spurting blood or don’t stop bleeding after 10 minutes of consistent pressure, it’s time to seek emergency medical care.
Self-treatment: When is it Acceptable to Treat Your Own Lacerations?
You can treat most minor cuts yourself. Once you’re able to stop the bleeding, gently clean the wound with soap and warm water. Follow up with an antibiotic ointment and a sterile bandage, which can be found at any 24-hour pharmacy.
Seek help at your local urgent care clinic if:
• The wound came from a human or animal bite, rusted piece of metal or other objects that might be dangerous.
• The wound is very deep, and there appears to be damage to the underlying muscle or bone.
• You haven’t received a tetanus booster shot in the last five years.
Antibiotics for Lacerations: When are they Needed?
In most cases, antibiotics are not needed for minor injuries. Surface cuts and lacerations heal on their own provided that you have a normally functioning immune system and clean living conditions. However, a course of antibiotics might be recommended when the wound:
• Is very deep.
• Has come into contact with infectious material, such as blood, dirt or feces.
• Has jagged borders.
• Is located on the feet or another part of the body that doesn’t circulate as well.
While it isn’t always the case, doctors sometimes choose to give antibiotics to senior patients with wounds, since they typically have weaker immune systems. The same goes for those suffering from HIV or AIDS or certain autoimmune conditions.
If you have a cut or laceration and need immediate care, visit Prime Urgent Care Clinic in Pearland, Missouri City, and Sugar Land. We are available to treat your wounds to prevent infection and scarring.