Cuts or Lacerations Treatment
Call 911 if:
A cut is bleeding severely
Blood is spurting out
Bleeding can't be stopped after 10 minutes of firm and steady pressure
In general, a cut that needs stitches should be repaired within 6 hours of the injury. The exception is cuts to the face and scalp, which generally can be repaired up to 24 hours after the injury.
Take the following steps for minor cuts.
1. Stop the Bleeding
Apply direct pressure on the area.
2. Clean and Protect
Clean the area with warm water and gentle soap.
Apply an antibiotic ointment to reduce chance of infection.
Put a sterile bandage on the area. In some people, antibiotic ointments may cause a rash. If this happens, stop using the ointment.
3. Call a Health Care Provider
Call a health care provider if:
The cut is deep or over a joint
You cannot get the cut or laceration clean
The injury is a deep puncture wound or the person has not had a recent (within the last 5 to 10 years) tetanus shot or booster
The cut is from a human or animal bite
4. Follow Up
For a minor cut or laceration, remove bandage after a couple of days to promote healing.
See a health care provider if the cut doesn't heal or shows signs of infection, including redness, swelling, pus, or excessive pain.