How to Stitch a Wound

A few tips from Dr. Luanne Freer, founder of the Everest Base Camp Medical Clinic.

If evacuation isn't possible, it's good to know how to stitch a wound in the wild. (doble-d/iStock)
Photo: doble-d/iStock wound
  1. Attempt only if evacuation isn't an option. If you screw up, you could cause permanent tissue damage and a nasty infection.
  2. Irrigate the wound with boiled water—you can use a plastic bag with a hole poked in it—and then scrub with soap.
  3. Sterilize your needle and thread.
  4. Start stitching (see sidebar image). You generally want the stitches spaced a quarter-inch from each other and from the skin edges, which should just barely touch. (The skin shouldn't pucker.)
  5. Tie the suture with a surgeon's knot off to the side so it doesn't touch the wound.
  6. Treat with antibacterial ointment and cover with a clean bandage.

stitch-a-wound_fe
A closer look a the steps to stitching a wound

 

Filed To: First Aid / Survival / Skin / Recovery
More Adventure