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Old 11-17-2003, 11:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
Like John Goodman, but not.
 
Journeyman's Avatar
 
Location: SFBA, California
Nurses/Doctors who've stitched patients up.

Has anyone here ever had experience in stitching up cuts and whatnot? Or how about themselves?
Is it something you have to go through a nursing program to be taught, or are there seperate courses that cover this in a more isolated fashion?
What kind of special needles/threads would I need?
And finally, is it feasable to learn up on stitching self-taught style and stitch your own self (I imagine this last concept will be knocked down as a complete no-no)?

Edit: PS: This isn't an urgent question, no one is cut.
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Oklahoma City
As far as I know, only doctors are allowed to stitch and staple. I have assisted with stitching and stapeling and actually got to put some staples in a guy but that's another story.

As far as the needles/threads, yes there are special needles used for this althugh the most special thing about them is the sterility. There are a couple types of thread. One thread is disolvable and the other is not. Aside from that I don't know much about the thread. Probably not the general sewing thread you pick up at Wal-Mart though.

Best advice, if you need stitches, go to the hospital and see a doc.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: ski town
I stitched my leg once. I had a hole that needed closing and the hospital was 5 hours away. I couldn't reall drive & apply pressure so I put one stitch in with dental floss & my leather awl. Danm near passed out dong it. The doctor shook his head, took it out and did it right.
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: East Tennessee
My stepfather a , Vietnam Veteran, cut his leg open, with a scalpel, removed a piece of shrapnel that had been left in his leg from the war and then commenced stitching it up. All while watching TV in the livingroom without any type of painkiller. He has had medical training, Medic in the Army, and had all of the proper equipment. It is possible to stitch yourself up but I would advise training and still woud not do it just to save a buck or 3. The chances for complications and infections are VERY HIGH.
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Philly
I stitch probably 3-4 times a week. Was taught by practicing on a pickled pigs foot. But since bad results can happen, and this is America, you really need malpractice insurance to do it, so its usually left in the realm of docs and thier assistants

Special "cutting" needles are usually used, which have a triangular cross section and are curved- these help cut through the skin(its tough!).

Lots of different sutures(thread) used- depending on what and where you are stitching: Chromic is disolvable(your body attacks and dissolves it-for subsurface layers) silk, ethilon(used mostly for surface- not dissolvable) and proline(good for scalps-colored blue to stand out from the hairs) and all in different thicknesses. Sold in sterilized packs

I imagine if you have the balls to inject yourself with the local, you can stitch yourself, but so many lacerations occur on the arms and hands, its not very likely you can do it one handed!
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Philly
Quote:
Originally posted by powder
I stitched my leg once. I had a hole that needed closing and the hospital was 5 hours away. I couldn't reall drive & apply pressure so I put one stitch in with dental floss & my leather awl. Danm near passed out dong it. The doctor shook his head, took it out and did it right.
Ha ha- you got balls! Not even a needle- a leather awl!!!
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Oxford, UK
Over here in UK it's a bit easier so doctors and a few nurses will stitch (though there's increasing use of superglue in the emergency department for minor injuries). We were taught on expensive "fake skin", and then discovered ourselves that economy chicken legs are much, much better!
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Old 11-20-2003, 08:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Farm country, South Dakota
Carry a tube of super glue with you. Maybe not as good as stitches, (It does tend to leave scars, hehe) but if you don't have time to stop it works wonders. I have used this trick on nasty(ier) barb wire cuts. Probably not the cleanest method but it was quick, easy, and I didn't have to walk the twenty minutes to the house to get it cleaned and dressed.

Disclaimer:
You should never do this. Seek proffesional help in the event you cut yourself.
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Old 11-24-2003, 07:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you come through medical school you get your primary practice on people. It helps when they've been intubated and are under general anesthesia.
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Old 11-24-2003, 08:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Pants
You can do it on yourself in a pinch with a normal needle and thread (better make it strong thread...) but it's not exactly a good idea. It's not excalty sterile ya know? Superglue is a usable idea, its pretty similar to those liquid bandages you see on the sales racks now.

However, best bet is to go see a doctor.
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Old 11-25-2003, 09:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
Détente
 
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Location: AWOL in Edmonton
I was eight years old, fishing with my dad and uncle in a row boat on a somewhat remote lake. Managed to cut myself pretty good with a filleting knife just below my knee. Granted he was a paramedic for a couple of years, but my dad popped three great big stiches into me. I don't know what he used for the holes, but used some relativly fine mono fishing line as thread. I remember it hurt like hell and I refused to look at it, then frantic rowing and frantic driving.

I ended up with 4 staples in an emergency room later that day, a decent scar but there was no infection. Its a pretty popular story around family gatherings these days.
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