When to Go to Urgent Care for a Cut

When to Go to Urgent Care for a Cut

Everyone gets cuts and scrapes from time to time, and depending on the cause and depth of the cut, you may already have everything you need in your medicine cabinet at home. Whether you participate in contact sports, enjoy gardening, or trip and fall on your way to your car, properly treating cuts and scrapes is important to avoid infection, minimize the risk of scarring, and ensure that your cut heals as quickly as possible.

When treating your cut at home isn’t possible, the next best thing is typically to go to urgent care, depending on the depth and nature of the cut. Our team of primary care doctors and specialists offers urgent care services at Midwest Regional Health Services in Omaha, Nebraska.

When to go to urgent care for a cut

Urgent care services are available for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries that otherwise require timely medical attention. If your cut isn’t deep enough to go to the emergency room but can’t be treated at home, urgent care is usually your best option.

It can be difficult to know how serious a cut is just by looking at it, so we encourage you to give our office a call if you’re not sure whether to come in for an urgent care appointment. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, as the old saying goes!

Here’s an example of when a cut might need medical attention:

A human or animal bite

Moderate-to-severe bites (from an animal or human) where the skin is broken should be monitored and treated by a medical professional. Depending on the circumstances, you may need a tetanus booster shot to prevent infection. 

Location of the cut

Depending on the depth and location of the cut, you could also be at risk for muscle, tendon, or other soft tissue damage, especially if the cut is on or near a joint. Additionally, even shallow cuts on your face or other cosmetically sensitive areas could result in scarring, so it’s best to seek professional treatment to lower your risk of a prominent scar.

Cuts from foreign objects

Even minor cuts are at risk for infection if your skin is lacerated with a dirty or contaminated object like a nail, scissors, knife, or other sharp object. If you have a foreign object embedded in your skin and you’re not sure whether it’s safe to remove it, give us a call or seek immediate treatment at the emergency room before trying to remove it on your own. 

Deep cuts and heavy bleeding

With a minor, surface level cut, you can usually apply pressure to the wound and press the skin together to stop the bleeding. If your cut is too deep to stop the blood flow and close the wound with pressure, give us a call, and our team can advise you whether to go to urgent care or the emergency room.

Cleaning a cut

If you feel comfortable doing so and think you can safely clean your cut at home before going to urgent care, irrigating the cut cut with water and a mild antibacterial soap is recommended.

If you’re in an accident or experience trauma and have heavy bleeding or potentially life-threatening injuries, seek emergency medical treatment as quickly as possible.

iFor more information about the services available and when to choose urgent care, contact Midwest Regional Health Services today to schedule an appointment.

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