Cuts and wounds: when to call an ambulance or go to the emergency room?

Cuts and wounds – how to assess them? When faced with a cut, a wound or an injury, it is not always easy to know whether stitches are necessary and whether specialist medical treatment is required or whether self-medication is sufficient

In which cases of cuts and wounds should you go to the emergency room or call 112 / 118?

  • The cut is so deep that the dermis or subcutaneous fatty tissue is visible
  • The wound is so open that light pressure is not sufficient to bring the skin flaps closer together
  • The wound is in the vicinity of a joint, putting ligaments, tendons and nerves at risk
  • The injury is caused by a human or animal bite, in which case not only stitches but also antibiotics or a booster of the tetanus vaccine may be necessary
  • The injury is caused by an impact with a foreign body penetrating the skin
  • The injury is due to a high-pressure impact
  • The injury is caused by a very dirty or rusty object
  • The wound is bleeding heavily and does not tend to stop
  • The wound involves a very sensitive area of the body, such as the face or genital area


With cuts and wounds, what should you do before going to the emergency room?

If you decide to go to the emergency room, it is important to be careful:

  • Do not remove any foreign bodies embedded in the skin.
  • If possible, clean the injured area with running water and an antibacterial liquid soap.
  • If a child is injured, do not give them anything to eat or drink.
  • When going to the emergency room, if the wound involves a limb, it is advisable to hold it higher than the body in order to stop the bleeding.

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