Every day, people take a worried trip to see an emergency health provider because of a suddenly inflicted wound. Sharp objects, car or bicycle accidents, and even basic falls are all to blame, but not every person who goes to an emergency room for assistance with a wound will actually have to be there. If you do get a skin-penetrating wound, it is best if you know whether or not you are facing a true emergency. Take a look at some of the signs that a wound you have on your body should be treated as an emergency situation.
The wound won't stop bleeding with applied pressure.
When you apply pressure to a wound, it should stop bleeding rather quickly. It is natural for some blood to seep out during those first initial moments after a wound is created, but applying pressure will stop the flow of blood to the area unless the wound is so large or so deep that pressure will not stop the bleeding. Mild bleeding will most often stop after you have applied about 15 minutes of pressure. If the bleeding has not slowed, it is best to seek emergency help.
The wound was caused by either a bite or a dirty object.
Some skin penetrations can put you at a high risk of developing an infection or illness. These wounds should almost always be treated as emergency situations because the faster you get treatment, the less likely it will be that further illness will occur. A few examples of when a wound should be treated as an emergency because of how it happened include:
- If you were bitten by an animal or human
- If you wounded yourself on a rusty nail or fastener
- If you have a wound caused by a soiled object like a dirty knife
The wound is so deep you see other tissues.
Deep wounds can be especially concerning, but not every deep wound will be treated as an emergency and may not even require stitches. However, if you look into a wound a see something like muscle tissue, tendons, or bone, it is a sign to seek immediate emergency care. These types of wounds can leave you at risk of infection, and a doctor will need to look to make sure no other areas are damaged or need medical attention. For instance, a deep wound that allows you to see your bone may mean there is damage to the bone.