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What’s Going Around: More than a cut above

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If you or your child gets a deep cut, do you know how to stop the bleeding? Are stitches needed? Can they really glue it? Doctors at Centra Care want you to know the answers.

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A doctor can determine if stitches are necessary. But you need to act quickly – a cut should be closed with stitches within 8-12 hours. Every Centra Care location provides stitches for adult and pediatric patients.

How do you know if the injury needs to be checked out by a doctor? If any of these are true, the answer is YES:

1. Deep, gaping or jagged cuts
2. Cuts longer than 1 inch.
3. Cuts that continue to bleed
4. Cuts over a joint
5. Debris in wound

The following are some things you shouldn’t do:
• Do NOT assume that a minor wound is clean because you can’t see dirt or debris inside.
• Do NOT breathe on an open wound.
• Do NOT try to clean a major wound, especially after the bleeding is under control.
• Do NOT remove a long or deeply embedded object. Seek medical attention.
• Do NOT probe or pick debris from a wound. Seek medical attention.

Infection is a primary concern following a wound. A superficial wound can heal with home treatment. To avoid infection, clean the wound thoroughly by pouring clear water over it. Apply an antibacterial ointment and keep the area covered with a bandage; repeat these steps at least once a day. To stop any bleeding, apply constant pressure with a gauze pad or clean cloth.

Tetanus is a serious illness caused by tetanus bacteria that often enters through open wounds. So make sure your tetanus booster is up-to-date. Tetanus boosters are recommended every 10 years, so if it has been more than 10 years and you have an open wound, Centra Care will give a Tetanus booster.

Source: National Institutes for Health


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