Cut on lip, what wound care?
April 1, 2014 1:05 AM Subscribe
Late night medical advice needed: my lovely cat nearly fell off the bed, and caught herself using my face. My lip, specifically. I've got a v shaped cut 4-5 mm long on one side and 2mm short side and it's somewhere around 2 - 3 mm deep. Clean and bandage? Go to emergency room? Regular doctor in the morning?
posted by [insert clever name here] to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
I've already tried urgent care, but the one urgent care facility in the area with late hours just changed their hours from 24 hours to closing at 11pm (discovered while IN the parking lot at 1:30am, yay.). Opted not to go to the emergency room expecting I'd be waiting until morning to be seen anyway since it's not that kind of a wound. Next stop was the pharmacist (I'm really sorry pharmacist dude, I am sure you hate these kinds of situations), who said to just clean it out and call the doctor in the morning. He said because it bled a lot, it probably cleaned itself out pretty good, so we should leave it if it closes or use a butterfly bandage.
So we got sterile saline and used a butterfly bandage. It's sort of closed, but I also see that the skin isn't completely matched up and there still is blood seeping periodically, which seems to be from occasionally moving my mouth (I'm trying hard not to do that). I'm not sure if I should just go to bed and call the doctor in the morning, or go to the emergency room. It doesn't seem THAT bad, but the interwebs are suggesting that that lip wounds are bad and often need stitches in a timely manner.
If this were on any other part of my body, I would have cleaned up and just bandaged, but it's not. It's started to swell (not that surprising, I guess) and hurts like a son of a bitch. The butterfly bandage doesn't appear have the cut edges lined up exactly right, but I'm afraid to take it off and pull apart the wound.
To complicate matters, I don't know if I have insurance or not (yay!). Had to use the health insurance exchange, signed up on March 15th, got info saying we weren't really signed up until we paid, which had to be done via old fashioned paper. Called the insurance company, who said as long as they got the payment by March 31st, insurance would start April 1st. Sent in the paperwork with bank information Monday of last week, and the money hasn't come out of checking. So a little gun shy of the emergency room. On the other hand, I don't really want a gaping hole in my lip. Oh, and my husband and I aren't working, because of a 2 year string of bad luck. So a bit scared about money.
Thoughts? Can I hold off until regular doctors hours resume, another 5-7 hours? This happened at almost exactly midnight and it's 3am here. It bled pretty significantly for about 20 minutes, seeped for another hour, and now only seems to be seeping when I make the mistake of moving my lips too much. The bottom of the wound has a "gap" about 1mm wide and 2mm long where the edged don't meet. It's filled with wet but not seeping blood so I can't see how deep and am a bit to afraid to fiddle with to clean out and see. Anything else I should be doing? Should I be reopening the lip to clean out, or just wait for a doctor to assess? And should I be going to urgent care first thing in the morning, or wait until my regular doctor can see me? Or is this less of a big deal than I think it is? I'm worried about both infection and a nasty looking scar. Yes, I always thought a facial scar would be badass, but now faced with it (no pun intended), I'm actually quite upset.