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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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