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First Aid & Emergencies

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Cuts - Check Your Symptoms

Call 911 if:

  • The person faints or has other signs of shock, even if the bleeding has stopped.
  • Bleeding from a large or deep cut does not stop or slow down after applying direct pressure, or blood quickly soaks through several bandages.

Call a doctor if:

  • The skin near the wound is blue, white, or cold.
  • You have numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling or movement below the wound.
  • You have a puncture wound to the head, neck, chest, or belly, unless you know it is minor.
  • Bleeding has slowed but has not stopped after 45 minutes of direct pressure.
  • You cannot remove an object from the wound, or you think part of the object may still be in the wound.
  • A cut has removed all the layers of skin.
  • The cut needs stitches. Stitches usually need to be done within 6 to 8 hours.
  • A deep puncture to the foot occurred through a shoe.
  • A cat or human bite punctured the skin.
  • You have not had a tetanus shot in the past 5 years or don't know when your last shot was. If you need a shot, you should get it as soon as possible.
  • You have signs of infection. These may include increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness; red streaks leading from the wound; pus; and fever.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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