First Aid
Stitches

Stitches (Sutures)

 

General Guidelines:

Do's (√):

  • Keep the wound as clean and dry as possible during the first 24 to 48 hours after the stitches have been placed.
  • Leave the dressing on the wound during the first 24 hours.
  • Follow the instructions of your health care provider when you want to wash, dry, or change the dressing.
  • Check wound and stitches every day for signs of infection.
  • Make sure that your hands are clean when you tend to the wound.
  • Take painkillers to alleviate pain if instructed by your doctor.
  • Follow up with your health care provider to make sure your wound is healing properly.
  • Only use creams or ointments recommended by your doctor.

 

Don'ts (X):

  • Don't rub the stitches directly, use a clean paper towel instead.
  • Don't leave the dressing of the wound or the clothes over the stitches wet because this allows bacteria to reach the area, which can cause infections.
  • Avoid any activities that exert pressure on the area that has been sutured.
  • Do not swim or soak the wound (for example by washing the dishes without wearing gloves) until the sutures have been removed.
  • Don't let children play with water, mud or sand.

 

You need to see a doctor or go to the emergency room again if:

  • The wound continues to bleed even after being sutured.
  • Sutures fall out before their removal date.
  • You notice signs of infection, which include:
  • Increased pain
  • Swelling and redness in the area.
  • Fever.
  • Pus or smelly discharge.
  • Numbness or tingling around the area of the wound.

If your sutures are also dressed with bandages, follow the care instructions given by your doctor.

For futher information:

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