By: Carolyn Medrano
Life can be full of surprises that may need the immediate attention of your local urgent care center. You may, at once time, find yourself met with an unfortunate kitchen accident involving a sharp steak knife, for example.
Deep lacerations are the medical term to describe a deep cut or otherwise “bad owie.” As opposed to a puncture wound, the term laceration specifically describes a wound where skin and tissue are torn apart. The most common ways to be deeply lacerated is with knives, tools, auto accidents, and glass. Most minor lacerations will not require treatment at an urgent care center. Most patients can treat their cuts with basic first aid:
- Clean the cut gently with soap and water.
- Apply antibiotic ointment or cream (only if what caused the cut may be contaminated with raw meat, for example).
- Cover the cut with a band aid until the skin closes to prevent infection.
Some wounds, however, require attention and treatment from board certified physicians in Houston at your PCP’s office or local urgent care center. If the wound is very deep, bleeding profusely, in a joint area, or in highly vulnerable areas (such as in the eye), apply the same basic first aid techniques on your way to see the doctor, with a few changes.
- Control the bleeding first by applying pressure to the wound for 15 minutes.
- If able, remove any visible residue around the wound (broken glass, dirt, etc.)
- Wrap and cover the wound to prevent infection.
Depending on the depth of the wound, treatments may include stitches (this writer had 8 stitches in her hand), staples, bandages, steri-strips, or glue. If the wound is older than 24 hours prior to seeing a board certified medical facility, the wound is considered contaminated and other treatments may have to be used to close the wound.