You’re playing on the beach, building sand castles and you notice a hole, not created by you near your sand pile. You stick your hand in. Ouch! You’re cut and it’s bleeding. Is it bad? You usually do not carry a first aid kit to the beach. What’s next? A visit to the nearest medical clinic? Where to get stitches, you ask?

Visits to the emergency room have grown to approximately 110 million each year! Is a cut that bleeds worthy of an emergency room visit? Your friend says you need stitches. Where to get stitches is the operative question.

Stitches, A Definition

It’s easy to take for granted that everyone knows what stitches are? Maybe you have not had them, so you do not know what they are. We should define terms.

Stitches are surgical sutures (something that joins) to hold flesh or other tissues together after a cut, slash, or other wound. Stitches helps the closed cut to heal, it stops bleedings, and will minimize the scar. When do you need stitches?

When To Get Stitches

You’ll most likely need stitches when…

  • The cut or wound is deep (more than a short fingernail depth) or longer than a half-inch.
  • The cut is opened in such a fashion that it will not close with little effort.
  • The cut has uneven or jagged edges.
  • The cut has glass, gravel, or other debris inside the flesh opening.
  • The cut is spraying or leaking blood that will not subside with direct pressure of 5 minutes, or it it bleeds through a bandage or other covering.

Additional Measures

You may need to get a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the past 10 years or if the wound is from…

  • an animal bite or
  • a dirty object

Additionally, you’ll need to see a doctor if your cut causes you to have…

  • a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit,
  • the chills or shakes,
  • red streaking at or near the wound,
  • pain, skin irritation, swollen, red, or oozing skin, or
  • the urge to vomit.

Before Getting Stitches

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these items, then before getting stitches from a doctor, you should…

  • leave the object in, especially if it is deep,
  • not eat or drink anything, or
  • apply pressure to the area with a clean towel, piece of clothing, or bandage.

Where To Get Stitches

Urgent care centers or walk in treatment clinic can take care of your injury needs. Whether you need stitches, sunburn care, or have a sports injury, a 24 hour walk in clinic can give you medical care.

Go online to locate where to get stitches at your local urgent care clinic.

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