medic treating and stitching a wound
If evacuation isn't possible, it's good to know how to stitch a wound in the wild. (Photo: doble-d/iStock)

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.
Image

Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.

Here are the basics on what you need to know:

Step by Step Process of How to Stitch a Wound

how to stitch a wound
A closer look a the steps to stitching a wound

1. Assess the Situation

Attempt only if evacuation isn’t an option. If you screw up, you could cause permanent tissue damage and a nasty infection.

2. Clean the Wound

Irrigate the wound with boiled water—you can use a plastic bag with a hole poked in it—and then scrub with soap.

3. Sanitize Your Materials

Sterilize your needle and thread.

4. Stitch It Up

Start stitching. 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 It Off

Tie the suture with a surgeon’s knot off to the side so it doesn’t touch the wound.

6. Treat and Cover the Wound

Treat with antibacterial ointment and cover with a clean bandage.

Lead Photo: doble-d/iStock

promo logo
sms