Emergency Care

When to get treatment for a laceration

Cuts that break or tear the skin are called lacerations. They can affect just the first layer of skin or cut deep through a tendon, ligament or muscle. These deep lacerations need immediate treatment to prevent complications and protect limb or joint function. Lacerations that are deep enough to cut through an artery are life-threatening emergencies.


Find the expert care you need at Goshen Hospital Emergency Department on High Park Avenue. Our board certified physicians and nurses offer leading-edge treatments in a compassionate environment. For wound care that focuses on healing, rely on us to treat your laceration in Goshen, IN.

Recognizing laceration wounds

Get medical treatment for these signs and symptoms of a laceration:

  • Bright red blood that spurts out from the wound
  • Wound that reveals tendons, ligaments, bones or other structures below the skin
  • Heavy bleeding that doesn't stop after applying direct pressure for several minutes
  • Lacerations that cause numbness below the wound, such as a cut near the elbow that makes you lose feeling in your fingers
  • Cuts on the scalp of a person who takes blood-thinning medication (anticoagulant)
  • Any laceration caused by stabbing

Err on the side of caution if you're not sure if your laceration is severe enough to require medical attention. This is especially true for moderate lacerations on the hand, wrist or arm. Get treatment for any laceration if you haven't had a tetanus shot within the last few years.

Treating cuts at Goshen Hospital Emergency Department

Our emergency physicians and nurses provide care for all types of lacerations. Your treatment aims to relieve pain, restore function, prevent infection and minimize scarring, especially for facial lacerations.

Common laceration treatments include:

  • Sutures (stitches), staples or skin glue (adhesive) to close the wound
  • Pain medication
  • Antibiotic cream or ointment
  • Icing and elevating the injured area
  • Laceration repair (surgery) to remove torn skin edges and close the laceration so it will heal correctly

If your laceration becomes nonhealing or chronic, Goshen Wound Center offers advanced treatments, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), to restore your health.

Goshen Hospital Emergency Department serves Elkhart County by treating cuts and laceration wounds in Goshen, IN.