When Should You Use Sutures or Steri-Strips?

How to suture in an emergency

Should You Use Sutures or Steri-Strips?

Using steri-strips is pretty straightforward, but when do you need to toss the steri-strips to the side and go for something more involved? Wound closure is done to minimize infection so the sooner the wound is closed the better. The choice really comes down to the depth of the wound. Anything over 1/4″ should probably be closed with sutures.

I’d suggest at least getting familiar with suturing, even if you only watch a quick video. You never know when it may come in handy.

Wound closure is done to minimize infection so the sooner the wound is closed the better.

The rule in the ERs that I worked in was get to us within 6 to 12 hours and we might consider closing one that had been left open longer but probably not.

The longer the wound is left open the greater the chance of it becoming infected.

Deep wounds need to be closed in layers. If you pull the edges together over a deep wound you might get an abscess under it. I’m not going to describe suture technique as I’m sure there must be thousands of online videos.

Source: Wound Care – When to use Steri Strips or Suture

This video does a great job of showing off a simple suture technique.

Be sure to check out more first aid articles before you go!

You can also find out a more in-depth article that covers how to stop bleeding here.

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