A laceration refers to a cut in the skin. This may be superficial (without complete penetration of the skin) or deep, extending to fat or muscle tissue. The severity of a laceration will be determined by its location, size, depth (involvement of tendons, nerves, or vessels), potential for contamination, and the likelihood of retained foreign matter within the wound. Through analysis of these factors, the physician decides on a course of treatment (to stitch or not to stitch).


All lacerations require aggressive cleaning: irrigation with peroxide, antibacterial soap solutions, or sterile water. Lacerations to the face will often be sutured (stitches) due to their greater cosmetic implications. Lacerations thought to be at high risk for retained foreign matter require a physician evaluation. "Butterfly" bandages can often adequately secure small shallow wounds without sutures; however, greater care must be taken to watch closely for signs of infection, or reopening of the wound. Any lacerations to the hands or feet that may have violated tendon structures require physicianevaluation. Careful examination of every joint should be done to make sure flexion and extension are possible. Examination for feeling (sensation) in all areas below the laceration can disclose a nerve injury. Checking the pulse and the nailbed color will also help the physician locate any vascular injury. All lacerations require up-to-date tetanus accination.Patients who have received stitches should make sure they are kept clean and dry (no swimming). Peroxide cleansings, several times a day, and the use of an antibiotic ointment can help discourage bacterial infection. Watch closely for SIGNS OF INFECTION: increasing pain at the site, swelling, discharge from the wound, red streaks spreading from the wound, or fever. See your doctor promptlyif any of these symptoms occur.


FACE - average of 4 to 5 days
* SCALP - average of 7 days
* NECK - average of 7 days
* TRUNK - average of 10 days
* EXTREMITIES - average of 10 to 14 days, closer to 2 weeks with lacerations that are over stressed areas (joints).

12 Hip Dislocation
12 Hip Fracture
12 Insect Stings and Spider Bites
12 Human and Animal Bites
12 Shoulder Injury Fracture
12 Toxic Inhalations and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
12 Facial Injury Jaw Fracture and Dislocation
12 Kidney Injury
12 Knee Injury General Considerations
12 Knee Injury Contusion
12 Knee Injury Fracture
12 Knee Injury Sprain
12 Stab Wounds
12 Leg Injury Fractures and Contusions
12 Leg Injury Shin Splints
12 Lightning Injury
12 Oral and Tongue Injuries
12 Nasal Fracture or Contusion
12 Neck Injury General Considerations
12 Neck Injury Fracture
12 Neck Injury Spinal Cord Injury
12 Pelvic Bone Fracture
12 Puncture Wounds
12 Chest Injury Rib Fracture
12 Back Injury Sacrococcygeal Injury
12 Scorpion Bites
12 Abrasion Injuries
12 Shoulder Injury Clavicle Fracture
12 Shoulder Injury Strains and Sprains
12 Snakebite
12 Neck Injury Spinal Cord Injury
12 Abdominal Injury Ruptured Spleen
12 Foot Injury Toe Fracture and Sprain
12 Vaginal or Vulvar Injury
12 Drowning and Near Drowning


Abdominal Injury
Abdominal Injury: Contusion
Animal Bites
Ankle Fracture
Ankle Injury
Ankle Injury: Contusion
Ankle Sprain
Back Injury
Back Injury : Sacrococcygeal Injury
Back Strain
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Chemical Burns
Chest Injuries
Chest Injury: Aortic Rupture
Chest Injury: Hemothorax
Chest Injury: Myocardial Contusion
Chest Injury : Pneumothorax
Chest Injury: Pulmonary Contusion
Chronic Back Pain
Clavicle Fracture
Compression Fractures
Decompression Sickness
Disc Disease
Gunshot Wounds
Hand Injury: Fingertip Amputations
Head Injury
Liver Injury
Marine Stings
Muscle Strains
Rib Fracture
Ruptured Spleen
Shoulder Injury: A-C Separation
Spider Bites
Spinal Cord Injury
Sternum Fracture
Testicular Injury
Wrist Injury
hi Scuba Related Injuries
i Hand Injury Finger Amputaion
de Lecerations
de Cold Injury and Hypothermia
dd Dental Injury
xs Facial Injury
sdf Neck Injury
e Shoulder Injury Dislocation
e Ear Injury
ed Elbow Injury
de Elbow Injury Fracture
dfe Elbow Injury Nursemaids
ee Electrical Injury
de Eye Injury
ed Facial Injury General Considerations
fr Facial Injury Contusion
ed Hand Injury Finger Sprains
ded Fingernail and Toenail Injuries
dd Hand Injury Fractures
23 Head Injury Skull Fracture and Concussion
44 Chest Injury Myocardial Contusion
fde Heat Illness
ed Hest Injury Hemothorax
y Back Injury Disc Disease
;l High Altitude Illness

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