Puncture wounds are a forceful injury usually caused by a sharp object that penetrates the skin. In contrast to cuts and lacerations, puncture wounds are much narrower and deeper. They can easily occur from accidents with common household or work items, yard tools, and machinery. While it is true that most puncture wounds are minor and can be treated at home, there are certain times when it is important for you to go to urgent care or an emergency room right away. If you experience a life-threatening injury, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
Generally, you should come into Urgentology Care for puncture wounds if:
- You cannot get the wound to stop bleeding, even after applying pressure for up to 10 minutes
- The wound is from an animal or human bite
- The puncture wound is deep, jagged, large, and gapes open
- The area around the wound is red and swollen
- The area around the wound is tingling or numb
- There’s a chance a part of the object that punctured you - such as a broken piece of glass, metal, or wood - is still in the wound
- The object that caused the wound was dirty or penetrated your shoe
- You haven’t had a tetanus shot within the last 5-10 years
Depending on the object that resulted in your puncture wound, you may need a medical professional to clean the affected area and potentially close it with tape, adhesive, or even stitches. In some cases, you may need antibiotics in order to prevent infection.
Even after you come into Urgentology Care, it is important you keep an eye on puncture wounds and watch for the following signs:
- The skin around the wound is becoming more painful or red
- The wound becomes swollen
- There are red streaks around the wound
- Pus or discharge is draining from the wound
- The wound is not getting any better or healing
- The wound site continues to hurt (this could mean there is debris or a foreign object still inside the wound)
* Disclaimer - The information on our website is not medical advice and should not be regarded as such. All information is provided as-is without any warranties. If you have any specific medical questions, please contact a medical provider. If you are experiencing severe medical issues, please visit your nearest emergency room or dial 911.