Lee Chilton, MD of Ally Medical Emergency Room spoke with Studio 512 Co-Host Stephanie Gilbert about lacerations and how to treat them.
How long can I wait to get a laceration repaired?
“Almost all lacerations should be repaired within 12 hours, but this is rarely extended up to 24 hours (eg. facial wounds, foreign bodies). Most urgent cares do not do laceration repair — call ahead of time or go to a free-standing emergency room first,” Dr. Chilton said.
How do I decide what needs repair?
Dr. Chilton said:
- Place (face, fingers)
- Wound type/mechanism
- Size (long/wide, deep)
- Possible fracture or foreign body
- Obvious infection
- Lower threshold for repair if cosmetically needed
- Delayed repair in infection
How do I get fixed without needles?
“We can sometimes use skin adhesive, tape closure, “zipper” tapes, and/or topical anesthesia for kids. If you have anxiety, let your doctor know upfront for choice of repair type and possible pre-medication,” Dr. Chilton said.
What if/when do I need a specialist?
“Evaluation by a board-certified emergency medicine (EM) physician will lead to appropriate repair, consultation (eg. eye or plastic surgeon), or transfer (e.g. trauma). Most lacerations can be repaired if seen early and by a trained EM specialist,” Dr. Chilton said.
This segment is paid for by Ally Medical Emergency Room and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.