When a patient gets stitches or staples, there is likely a serious injury. At least to the extent that the skin needs to be held together for it to heal properly. Many times stitches or staples are required after a surgery to keep the surgical site closed while it heals. Other times the stitches or staples are a result of needing to close traumatic wounds from an accident such as a car crash or a slip and fall.
No matter what reason the stitches or staples are required, they need to be done properly. One of the most important aspects of giving stitches or staples actually occurs PRIOR to performing the stitching or stapling. A wound needs to be completely cleaned and debrided of foreign objects. There must be an antiseptic used to ensure there is no bacteria or possibility for an infection. It is a well-known that wound care starts with the wound itself before it is closed. Failing to remove all of the debris or sterilize the area prior to closing the wound is medical malpractice and it begs for serious infection—it should not happen!
Another important part of applying stitches or staples is ensuring the the tools used, including the actual string or staples, are not contaminated and are sterile. Applying dirty stitches or staples or failing to properly clean the tools used for the procedure can also introduce bacteria—including drug resistant bacteria—which can result in serious infections and even cause a patient to lose an extremity or die. This is also medical malpractice.
While administrating the stitches or staples, it is important that the healthcare provider to known the anatomic structures on or near the wound. If there are nerves, arteries, or veins nearby, the healthcare professional will have to exercise care to not lance or puncture those structures. If a healthcare provider does cause damage to a nerve, vein, or artery, it could be medical malpractice.
Finally, a healthcare provider needs to properly apply the stitches and staples to ensure that it will hold the skin closed, not allow infection in, and will hold. If the procedure is not done properly, it can result in the stitches or staples popping open and leaving the victim with a large wound. It could also result in oozing or leaking, as well as promoting bacteria growth, which can cause serious infections.
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