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Do you need a doctor? Cuts and puncture wounds

Some wounds shouldn't be treated at home.

See a doctor for a cut that is long or deep, bleeds heavily, is over a joint or broken bone, causes loss of movement or function, is jagged, or was caused by an animal or human bite, says the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Puncture wounds also require a doctor's visit, according to the ACEP. Germs and debris are carried deep into the tissues by a puncture wound, and antibiotics may be needed. You may also need a tetanus, or lockjaw, shot, especially if you haven't had one in the last 10 years.

reviewed 9/13/2019

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