General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Can a paramedic give stitches for minor wounds?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24661points) November 16th, 2023
18 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Without going to the hospital?

Just wondering.
Not to worry, I am OK.

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snowberry's avatar


Jeruba's avatar

@snowberry, why not?

flutherother's avatar

I would guess it is part of their training and they may also be able to apply skin glue but the normal advice, at least in the UK, is to go to an urgent care centre or an A&E if any of the following apply:

• the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of applying pressure
• the cut is long or deep
• something is embedded within the cut
• the cut occurred as a result of an animal or human bite, or was punctured by any other object that may cause infection
• the cut is on the mouth, face, hand or genitals.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Maybe. But they’d have to get the patient to the ER immediately after.

Forever_Free's avatar

No. They cannot provide any care that breaks the skin.

seawulf575's avatar

Not sure about EMTs but I know nurses can’t. At least not near me. I have a good friend that is an RN. She asked a doctor to teach her how to suture someone. It wasn’t part of her training because it wasn’t part of her job. She just wanted to know how in case she ever had to in the future. He showed her how to and how not to suture a wound closed. She showed us using pig’s feet as a practice dummy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

One time I took my son to the ER for a gaping head wound. You could see his skull. It was kind of cool.
The nurse assisting the doc got so upset and flustered the doc kicked her out and put me in charge of assisting. I wanted to tap on Chris’ skull with various medical instruments and see if he could hear differences. But I didn’t do it.

snowberry's avatar

USA here. My RN daughter is not allowed to suture wounds. And if she, who has more medical training than an EMT, then an EMT won’t be able to either. The rules may different in other countries.

smudges's avatar

“Paramedics are not authorized to suture wounds. This is the territory of physicians and their authorized and appropriately trained mid-level providers. EMT basics are never allowed to give sutures or stitches, and even paramedics do not receive training for this skill.”

EMT Basic (EMT-B, or just EMT)
EMT Intermediate (EMT-I)
EMT Advanced (AEMT)
EMT Paramedic (usually just referred to as Paramedic)

LifeQuestioner's avatar

As others have said, paramedics do not do stitches. They would try to stop the bleeding by either using the normal methods of pressure, elevation, etc., or by using a tourniquet if necessary. Even with a tourniquet, it has to be a doctor that removes it.

jca2's avatar

The job of the paramedic is to keep the patient alive and transport them to the hospital quickly.

Sutures need the wound to be cleaned (debrided) before any stitching can take place, and out in the field the conditions are not sanitary.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@jca2 well if they were payed well health insurance companies wouldn’t be able to make such massive profits.

SnipSnip's avatar

No. That is an invasive procedure. Paramedics can only apply dressings.

jca2's avatar

@SnipSnip A paramedic can give an IV, which is more than just a dressing and is an invasive procedure.

SnipSnip's avatar

@jca2 Sure is. Thanks. I answered this like I knew but obviously wherever I heard or read it was not right. It’s a bit embarrassing because my one time in an ambulance….they started an IV. I didn’t even think about that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My one time in an ambulance I was yelling at the guy to slow down!

Lightlyseared's avatar

Further to what @flutherother mentioned paramedics do suture wounds in the UK. Nurses also suture wounds in most urgent care centers and emergency departments.

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