Many cuts, especially to the scalp, can bleed quite dramatically from even a minor wound. However most bleeding can usually be stopped by applying pressure to the wound, having rinsed it well and cleaned it with antiseptic solution.

If a cut is gaping, the edges can often be brought together with a plaster without the need for stitches.

Grazes should be cleaned with a mild antiseptic solution and left to dry and allow a scab to form. Covering with a dressing delays healing and often causes problems by sticking to the wound.

Tetanus cover is provided by routine childhood immunisations up to the age of 14/15, when a further booster is given at school. These five injections should give lifetime cover.

Contact the doctor when the surgery is open if:

  • the wound is deep

  • the edges cannot be brought together

  • the wound is still dirty after thorough cleaning

  • the area becomes red or swollen or painful over the next few days

Contact the doctor straight away if:

  • the surgery is closed and the wound is deep, the edges cannot be brought together, or the wound is still dirty after cleaning

  • you think you may have damaged nerves or tendons