Laceration-closure interesting facts…
- Non-infected wounds (caused by clean objects) can be stitched up to 18 hours after the injury.
- Head wounds can be st
itched up to 24 hours after the injury.
- Using potable (drinking) water instead of sterile saline to irrigate the wound has not shown to increase the risk of infection. So, clean it out!
- If your doctor wears non sterile gloves to stitch you up, that’s fine. There is no increase risk of infection when a laceration is sewn up with a doctor wearing non sterile gloves versus sterile gloves.
- You may need a tetanus booster. So, keep a record of your last one.
- Depending on where the laceration is, a different thickness and type of suture will be used, a different laceration-closure technique will be done, and a variable timing of suture removal scheduled.
The next time you see your primary-care doctor, ask them if you have a laceration can you call their office and will they work you in?! I love to sew up lacerations in the office. Of course, depending on the location and complexity, you may need to see a plastic surgeon. But, call your primary care physician first. It has the potential to be a win-win situation: the patient may not need to pay a large co-pay for the emergency department and I love to sew!