Laceration Repair Round Up: Best Posts for Learning to Suture

Mastering procedures was one of the more difficult parts of life as a new grad nurse practitioner. Procedures take practice. Not to mention, there are additional factors to consider compared with less involved patient interactions. The risk of complications, for example, is much higher with procedures. So, these interventions must be approached with careful consideration. If you could use a brush up on your laceration repair skills, the following blog posts will help. 

1. To Glue, or Not to Glue, That is the Question

Skin adhesive is a godsend for those of us working in the emergency department. It allows for quick closure of small wounds and significantly decreases the discomfort of laceration repair. This is especially handy when working with children. While short, superficial lacerations are easy to identify as glue-worthy wounds, where do you draw the line? And, will wounds closed with skin adhesive really heal as well as those that are sutured? Let's take a look at skin adhesive guidelines. 

2. Laceration Time Clock: When is it Safe to Suture?

I'm always amazed when a patient walks into the emergency department 48 hours after an injury requesting sutures. What has this individual been doing for the past two days that prevented them from seeking treatment within a more traditional time frame? While this doesn't happen often, these cases always leave me wondering- is the wound still safe to suture? When does the wound repair window officially close? 

3. How Well Do You Know Your Injectable Anesthetics?

Lidocaine is the go-to when it comes to local anesthesia for minor in-office and emergency department procedures, but how much do you really know about this medication? When should you consider using other anesthetic agents? And, how much lidocaine is too much? Here's a quick refresher of your options when it comes to procedural pain control and their considerations. 

4. Suturing 101: Needles, Sizes, and Materials

As with any project or procedure, the first step to beginning any laceration repair is selecting the proper materials.  In the suturing world, selecting your needle type and size, as well as your "thread" material and size, are the starting point for every laceration repair. Here's how to select your supplies appropriately. 

5. Suturing 101: It's All About the Knots

Now that you know the basics of selecting your suture materials, grab a needle holder, some scissors, a pack of whatever suture material you can find, and a banana (or a pig's foot, but my guess is you don't have one lying around your house) and let's tie some knots.

6. 4 Videos for Learning to Suture

One of the best ways to brush up your suturing skills on your own is by watching videos. Consider purchasing some suturing supplies online and suturing along as you learn. Amazon offers a number of supplies for suturing including a suture practice kit, extra suture packs and instruments and even a human skin model if attempting to acquire a pig's foot seems too intimidating. Here are a few helpful videos for learning to suture

7. Tips and Tricks for Lip Laceration Repair

Lip lacerations once intimidated me, as did suturing almost any facial wound. When it comes to the face, I take my suturing skills particularly seriously as I want my patients to have the best possible cosmetic outcome. When it comes to facial lacerations, lip repair requires even greater care. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when suturing lip lacerations.

8. Stapling 101: It's Easy!

There is nothing better than a staple-worthy laceration. Stapling is quick, easy, and much simpler to learn than suturing. Experts say stapling is three to four times faster than wound closure with sutures and is also associated with a lower rate of infection. Let's take a quick look at the in's and out's of this invaluable technique.

What advice has helped you when it comes to laceration repair?

 

Comments

Hi Lucy, 

Consulting plastics is certainly ideal. Unfortunately, not all emergency departments have the luxury of having plastics on call, particularly in smaller towns/rural locations. 

Erin Tolbert

If you are in the ER, please call someone from plastics for facial lacerations. Lips in particular.. Your clients deserve that courtesy.

LucyJ.