Cuts and Bruises Can be Serious Enough to Demand Urgent Care
Cuts and bruises are among the most common injuries. They can be painful, and they vary in severity.
Cuts can be simple… or serious. Know what to do.
Cuts (lacerations) are caused by sharp objects penetrating the skin and can vary from simple surface cuts to deep lacerations. Depending on the depth of the cut, bleeding can occur.
Small cuts on the upper layers of skin can be cared for at home using proper first aid techniques, like thorough wound cleansing and suitable application of sterile bandages. Larger cuts that bleed profusely and leave a gaping wound require urgent medical attention.
If blood loss is significant, dial 911 or go immediately to the emergency room. For other serious cuts that are more urgent than emergent, come in to Coastal Urgent Care of Baton Rouge.
When to come in for cuts:
- Cut is deep or gaping
- Bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of applying direct pressure or keeps opening up
- Pain is severe
- Signs of infection develop (i.e. fever, swelling/redness/tenderness at the area)
- Object which you cut yourself with is dirty or rusty
- Numbness or weakness in limb beyond the wound
- If there is something stuck in the wound
- Wound is in face or neck
A bruise isn’t generally urgent, but it can be. Find out how to tell.
A bruise is an injury caused by a blow or impact that ruptures blood vessels beneath the skin, which appears as an area of discolored skin on the body. Bruises progress from appearing red, to blue or purple after a couple of hours, then turn yellow before they finally fade away. The discoloration that appears on the skin is actually blood that has settled in the area just below the skin surface or above the muscle.
Pain and swelling caused from minor cuts and bruises usually begin to improve 2 or 3 days after an injury. Swelling is usually gone in 7 days. Pain, however, may take 2 weeks to completely resolve.
When to seek urgent care for a bruise:
- Bruise swells
- Bruise does not fade within a week.
- Bruise occurs easily or for no apparent reason