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Home > Health & Fitness > Healthwise > Animal and Human Bites: When Stitches Are Needed
A bite injury may need to be closed by a health
professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to
close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on:
It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed
by a health professional. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound
remains untreated. Most wounds that require treatment should be stitched,
stapled, or closed with
skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the
injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours
after the injury. If stitches may be needed, avoid using an antiseptic or
antibiotic ointment until after a health professional has examined the
Bites such as these should be evaluated by a health
professional, but they may not always need stitching.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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