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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10329
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I went to the emergency room last night and got a few stitches

Resolved Question:

I went to the emergency room last night and got a few stitches in my leg just above and left of my kneecap. I was given a tetanus shot. I was given a knee brace and crutches to give the muscle a chance to heal. The wound was probably a half inch to three quarter inches deep. I was wandering if I should have been given antibiotic as well.

I was unrolling a seed covering mat for some grass seed and was cutting through string to unroll it and ended up stabbing myself with a small pair of pruning scissors.

Do I need an antibiotic?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Were the pruning scissors dirty? Contaminated with soil?
Was the wound well irrigated?
Is it red now?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don't think the scissors had soil on them, per say...they typically sit on the shelf in the garage and are used to trim back flowers. They were sitting in the grass part of the day while I was working.

The wound was irrigated in the emergency room by the doctor, but that was about 4 hours after the accident happened..

It does not appear to be red around the stitches. We have kept neosporin on it since we left the emergency room
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying,

It sounds like it is a bit of a gray area. Most non-contaminated wounds (wounds that are clearly not dirty and that can be easily irrigated) are not treated with antibiotics.
Antibiotics can actually increase risk of complications (bowel infections) and are not necessary in clean wounds.

Since your wound was irrigated and did not appear dirty, it sounds like you were treated appropriately. Just watch for any increasing pain, redness, warmth, swelling or drainage. If any of these develop, contact your physician. You can continue with the neosporin.

Wounds that are treated preventatively with antibiotics are animal or human bites, clearly dirty/soil contaminated wounds, wounds that do not have good blood supply, wounds in the mouth, wounds that involve fractures or joints/tendons.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I know I poked a hole in my leg so it will hurt...but is it typical for the pain level to decrease over the next few days?

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
It should slowly decrease over the next few days.

Try to keep the leg elevated as much as possible.
If you were given pain medication, take that.
If not, use ibuprofen 400-600 mg every 6-8 hours as needed.


Dr Abby


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
One last question...

When you say elevated....does it need to be above my heart or just off of the ground?

Your help has been wonderful...Thank you so much!
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Elevated at or above heart level is best.

You are very welcome :)


Dr Abby



If you are satisfied with my help, please remember to click accept. Thank you!!
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10329
Experience: Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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