When Should You Go to the ER For Stitches?

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If you or a loved one have experienced a wound that requires stitches, a trip to a local emergency room may be a necessity. At iCare ER & Urgent Care, with locations in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX, our emergency room is open 24/7 and staffed with board-certified emergency room physicians who can address deep gashes, bites, or other injuries that require 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.

Signs your cut requires stitches at an emergency room

While many cuts and scrapes can be handled at home or in an urgent care setting, there are some wounds that do require a trip to the emergency room for stitches or other medical treatments.

If your wound exhibits any of the following signs, a visit to iCare ER & Urgent Care, with locations in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX, may be in order.

  • The cut is deeper than a quarter of an inch.

  • The cut was caused by a dirty or rusty object.

  • 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.

Keep in mind 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 iCare ER & Urgent Care, 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. In other instances, removable stitches may be required, which means a return trip to either our Frisco or Fort Worth, TX location to have the stitches removed at the appropriate time in our urgent care center.

What to expect in the emergency room when receiving stitches

iCare ER & Urgent Care has a unique approach when it comes to treating patients in either an emergency room or urgent care setting. They are proficient at addressing “level 3” emergencies at either of their locations in Frisco 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 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. An optimal treatment plan will depend on how deep or large the wound is, or if it has become infected. 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. 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 iCare ER & Urgent Care. 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 locations in Fort Worth and Frisco, TX.

A hybrid approach to emergency room care at iCare ER & Urgent Care

At iCare ER & Urgent Care, our locations in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX offer a “hybrid” approach to patients with both emergency room facilities and urgent care services under the same roof. Whether you need stitches for a cut or have any other type of ailment requiring emergency room care, we pride ourselves on the quality of services offered, as well as prompt attention to detail. Our board-certified emergency room doctors are highly skilled and trained to handle emergencies as well as minor urgent care ailments with the utmost care.

Whether you need an emergency response team or urgent care support, the team at iCare ER & Urgent Care can address your needs quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and how we can assist you or your family in your time of need.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.