Cuts and scrapes are among the most common injuries people can get, and they can happen just about anywhere. Anything from landing on something with a sharp edge, breaking something that causes a cut, or just having an accident with a sharp object. Most of the time, cuts and scrapes are simple things that some basic first aid can manage, allowing people to get on with their day. But how do you know when a cut requires medical attention?
Dr. Rogers Walker and Walker Urgent & Family Care have been serving the Little River, South Carolina area for years and are well-equipped to handle a variety of medical problems. Treating cuts and scrapes, major or minor, is just one of the ways they can help.
Here are some examples of signs that a cut may be serious:
Size and depth of the cut
A good indication that a cut may be serious is if the cut is long and deep. Anything longer or deeper than half an inch that exposes fatty tissue and/or bone or is wide and gaping is evidence the patient will need medical attention. Being impaled or getting shot can create a deep tissue injury that would also require medical help.
The amount of bleeding from a cut
Bleeding is also a strong factor, as even shallow cuts can bleed profusely from some areas of the body. A doctor should see any cut that doesn’t stop bleeding after 10 minutes of applied pressure directly to the wound. This can be particularly dangerous if someone has a condition that prevents their blood from clotting properly.
The location of the cut
Cuts in vital areas, like the genitals or near vital organs, can be especially dangerous for fear of bleeding out. Cuts to joints and tendons are dangerous because of the potential danger to the function of that area of the body. Cuts to areas of the face can possibly impair functions like sight.
Signs of infection from the cut
Cuts from dirty or rusty objects can cause infection, even if they are minor cuts. This could be anything from stepping on a rusty nail or getting cut with a dirty piece of wood or glass. Animal bites are also common sources of infection if the animal is rabid or infected with some disease. Look for signs of infection such as redness around the wound, increased swelling, pus, or fever.
Treatment for deep cut injuries
For basic first aid until someone can get medical attention:
Apply constant pressure on a cut that requires medical attention to help prevent bleeding out. If a cloth is covered in blood from the wound, continue to apply pressure with another cloth without removing the first one. Constant pressure is important. If bleeding stops, clean the area with soap and water gently, but don't scrub for fear of causing the wound to bleed again. Keep the injuries covered with gauze or a bandage.
Medical treatments for cuts include sutures to close deep cuts and gaping wounds and antibiotics for treating infections.
If you have a cut you think is serious, make an appointment with Dr. Walker and Walker Urgent & Family Care to get treatment right away.