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Wound Care (Lacerations, Cuts, Gashes & Puncture Wounds)


Expertly treating gashes in our emergency room

A gash is a deep cut that involves torn skin and deeper tissue. It may require stitches to promote healing and minimize scarring, along with other treatments, depending on its severity.

Call 911 or go to the emergency room in these situations:

  • The wound penetrates the head, chest or abdomen.
  • You have multiple gashes.
  • You can’t stop the bleeding.
  • You have deep cuts that expose bone, muscle or tendons.

Board certified physicians and nurses at Goshen Hospital Emergency Department provide expert wound care for your gash. We work together to quickly stop the bleeding and repair underlying tissue or internal organ damage.

Deep cut and skin tear treatment

At Goshen Hospital Emergency Department, your physician examines the gash and creates a treatment plan based on its severity. You may need imaging tests like X-ray or CT scan to determine whether organs, nerves or important body parts have been damaged.

Common gashes may only need stitches (sutures), but a deep cut may require surgery to repair any damage and close the wound.

Additional wound care may include:

  • Numbing the area
  • Gentle cleansing
  • Close evaluation
  • Preventing the accumulation of fluid deep inside the wound
  • Getting stitches to bring the tissue edges together
  • Applying a bandage or dressing
  • Daily cleaning the wound and applying dressing

Healing from a gash

Before you go home, your physician or nurse will explain how to care for your wound and when to follow up for suture removal, if applicable. You may be prescribed pain medication over the first few days of healing.

See a doctor if you show signs of infection, such as redness, heat, increasing pain and fever.

If your wound isn’t healing properly, we can refer you to Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center to receive treatment from our specialists.


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. 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.

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 & Hyperbaric Center offers advanced treatments, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), to restore your health.

Puncture Wound

Preventing complications from a puncture wound

A puncture wound is a break in the skin from a pointed, slender object, such as a nail or knife. The object penetrates the skin and may be deep enough to involve fat, muscle and bone. It’s different from a cut that slices or tears the skin open, like a gash.

Puncture wounds don’t always look serious, but they can create serious complications such as infection of the skin, bone or blood. Seek immediate wound care at Goshen Hospital Emergency Department for this injury. By cleaning and examining the affected area, we can help prevent a puncture wound infection.

Call 911 or come to our emergency room to find expert treatment for a puncture wound.

Do I have a deep puncture wound?

Unless the object punctures a major blood vessel, you may not have a lot of external bleeding with a puncture wound. It can simply appear as a hole in the skin. Though, you may be bleeding internally causing skin discoloration.

It can be difficult to identify a deep puncture wound just by looking it. As a result, puncture wounds often mask serious internal injuries. This is why it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. He or she can probe the wound to determine its depth and find any debris that entered the wound with the object, such as dirt.

Puncture wound treatment at our emergency room

At Goshen Hospital Emergency Department, our emergency physicians and nurses thoroughly clean your wound and remove any debris. We may perform X-rays to check the wound for fragments of foreign objects and to see whether any bones were damaged. You may also need a tetanus shot, depending on the date of your last one. Since infection is a common complication, your provider may prescribe antibiotics.

If your puncture wound doesn’t heal properly, see an expert at Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center. Our experts can provide advanced treatments with an integrated approach.

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