Whether you’re fishing on your day off, enjoying a hobby, building something new, playing outside or even just preparing a meal, cuts, scrapes or lacerations can happen unexpectedly. The board-certified physicians at Medco ER & Urgent Care are experienced in treating wounds of all kinds and are standing by to help.
“When you experience a deep cut or laceration, or a scraped area of skin, the sooner you can get here, the better we are able to fight off infection that could be settling in the wound,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “We can treat it quickly and relatively painlessly. We use topical anesthetics to help reduce the sensation during treatment and we can make sure all the dirt and foreign bodies are removed properly before creating a proper seal.”
Do I need stitches?
When a laceration occurs, most people wonder whether or not they really need stitches. Sometimes it is very obvious that medical attention is needed, but other times it is not as clear. As a rule of thumb, if you can see layers of fat, muscle, tendons or bone in the wound, you will probably need stitches by a medical professional.
“Having one of our physicians treat your laceration can accomplish three things,” said Dr. Vora. “One: it will reduce the possibility of infection by properly sterilizing and sealing the wound. Two: it will stop severe bleeding. Three: it will speed healing by keeping the wound closed and stabilized. Treating a deep laceration at home is not advisable because of the risk of infection and inefficient healing. A wound may heal unevenly and leave a rough area that has reduced or deadened sensation.”
What about afterwards?
After you’ve received stitches, we can remove them in 5-14 days, depending on the location and size of the wound.
What about road rash, scratches or bites?
If your wound was caused by a skidding motion that peeled or scraped away a patch of skin, it is important to make sure all the dirt is removed from the area. “Scrapes or abrasions caused by falling off a bike or skidding across pavement are notoriously hard to clean at home,” said Dr. Vora. “Plus, they are extremely painful because they involve a large area of pain receptors. We can reduce the pain with topicals and can make sure all the dirt and gravel is removed to speed healing.”
If you had trouble with an animal and have scratches or bites, it is important to receive medical attention even if the wounds don’t appear to be too deep. Animal-related wounds are notorious for becoming infected, and a tetanus shot may be needed. Be prepared to identify the animal so your doctor can discover if there is a risk of rabies and so the animal can be contained, if necessary.
Do I need a Tetanus shot?
It is extremely important that you are up to date on your Tetanus booster anytime you experience a laceration or open wound. Tetanus is caused by bacteria and is almost always fatal if contracted through the skin. A Tetanus booster is usually good for 5-10 years.
If you don’t remember your last Tetanus shot, it’s crucial to get one in case of an open injury. At Medco ER, we can provide you a Tetanus booster in order to avoid a potentially deadly infection.
What to do on the way to the ER
Apply a clean cloth to the laceration and keep pressure on it to slow the bleeding. A gentle pinching pressure to pull the sides together could stem the bleeding on the way to Medco ER. Have someone else drive you so you can keep the wound elevated above the heart. If the wound is severe and blood loss is prominent, call 911 immediately or have someone take you to the nearest ER.
Get help fast at Medco ER & Urgent Care
At Medco ER, we have the imaging equipment, IVs, labs and supplies needed to treat any lacerations or wounds that you or your loved ones may experience. We are open 24/7 to provide you with some of the best medical care available to speed you on your way to healing.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.