Signs A Cut Requires An Emergency Department Visit
It’s tricky to tell whether a cut or scrape needs a doctor’s attention.
Everyone gets skinned knees, small cuts, puncture wounds or animal scratches once in awhile.
And many minor lacerations heal without medical intervention. But some injuries require stitches or other types of treatment to ensure proper healing.
An adult’s cut or a child’s injury may warrant a visit to an emergency department, but how do you tell?
Signs a cut requires an emergency department visit
Certain lacerations and wounds almost always require a visit to the ER or urgent care center. Head to an ER for evaluation if the wound is:
- Deep enough to expose the dermis or yellow subcutaneous fatty tissue
- Gaping open so that you can’t easily use gentle pressure to press the edges together
- Located on or across a joint (You may also have damaged nerves, tendons, or ligaments.)
- The result of an animal or human bite (You may need a tetanus booster shot or oral antibiotics, as well as stitches.)
- A result of a foreign object impaling the area
- Made by a high-pressure impact from a projectile like a bullet
- Contaminated or resulting from a very dirty or rusty object
- Bleeding profusely (and flow does not appear to slow)
- On a cosmetically significant area, such as the face
- On or near the genitalia