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10 Emergency Medical Procedures That Can Be Done on the Fly


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Stitching a Wound
To sew up a wound, pierce the skin at a 90 degree angle, starting at the center of the wound and stitch outward. © 2016 HowStuffWorks, a division of Infospace LLC
To sew up a wound, pierce the skin at a 90 degree angle, starting at the center of the wound and stitch outward. © 2016 HowStuffWorks, a division of Infospace LLC

Sewing shut a wound may be one of the easier medical procedures to perform for novices. If you're tapped for the job, first check out the wound site and flush the area with a lot of clean water. This will help wash away any foreign objects in the wound, plus dilute any bacteria present. This will help prevent infection. If you do see any objects inside — gravel, bits of wood or metal — gently remove them [source: Off the Grid News].

Then get out your first aid kit. Doctors use a wide variety of needles and suture threads when they're stitching a wound, depending on body location and other factors. The actual stitch used also varies. (No, you cannot use an ordinary sewing needle and thread — they're not strong enough). After sterilizing the needle, pierce the skin at a 90 degree angle, starting at the center of the wound and stitch outward. Twisting the wrist will ensure that the suture thread follows the curve of the needle. Leave about 1/8 of an inch (2 millimeters) between stitches. Keep in mind that skin is thick; you'll have to push the needle quite firmly. When you're finished, knot the thread and clean the area again, then bandage it to help avoid infection. The bandage should be changed twice a day [sources: Off the Grid News, Forsch].


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