18 doctors weighed in:

I cut myself with a knife when cutting a bagel. Bleeding pretty heavily... How do I know if I need stitches? How can I stop the bleeding?

18 doctors weighed in
Dr. F. Thomas Kaplan
Surgery - Hand Surgery
15 doctors agree

In brief: Hold pressure

Hold pressure to stop the bleeding.
It may take 10-15 minutes of constant pressure. Once the bleeding has stopped, look at the cut. If you can see fat tissue, and/or the skin edges are separated much, it may need stitches. If you have numbness or loss of the ability to move the finger joints, you need to see a hand surgeon.

In brief: Hold pressure

Hold pressure to stop the bleeding.
It may take 10-15 minutes of constant pressure. Once the bleeding has stopped, look at the cut. If you can see fat tissue, and/or the skin edges are separated much, it may need stitches. If you have numbness or loss of the ability to move the finger joints, you need to see a hand surgeon.
Dr. F. Thomas Kaplan
Dr. F. Thomas Kaplan
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Arthur Heller
If it re-bleeds with movement (or no movement). will likely need stitches
2 doctors agree

In brief: Local pressure

Mainly it depends on where the laceration is located and how deep it is.
Does the finger function normally. Is there any skin numbness? Is it affecting the fingernail or nail bed? Less dangerous if it is the palm side of the finger tip. Best to have it looked at if you are not sure. Local pressure with gauze bandage will stop the bleeding unless you are on blood thinner medication.

In brief: Local pressure

Mainly it depends on where the laceration is located and how deep it is.
Does the finger function normally. Is there any skin numbness? Is it affecting the fingernail or nail bed? Less dangerous if it is the palm side of the finger tip. Best to have it looked at if you are not sure. Local pressure with gauze bandage will stop the bleeding unless you are on blood thinner medication.
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
Thank
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Squeeze it!

Direct pressure clean gauze.
Elevate it above your heart. Get some help, have someone put pressure on the the big pulsing artery in your armpit. You need stitches if you can't get the bleeding to stop or if you can't move or feel your finger past where the cut is and to decrease the chances of it opening up again after the bleeding stops. Did u do this before or after u broke your toe?

In brief: Squeeze it!

Direct pressure clean gauze.
Elevate it above your heart. Get some help, have someone put pressure on the the big pulsing artery in your armpit. You need stitches if you can't get the bleeding to stop or if you can't move or feel your finger past where the cut is and to decrease the chances of it opening up again after the bleeding stops. Did u do this before or after u broke your toe?
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
Thank
Dr. Todd Sisto
Breast Surgery

In brief: To stop bleeding

Apply pressure and elevate the extremity.
It's a bit difficult to give any absolute rules about when to seek medical attention but certainly if there is much fat showing or if there is an inability to move the digit, if blood is squirting away from the wound or if you have numbness you must seek medical attention. Anything all the way through the skin and longer than about 1/2 inch should probably be seen also. After six hours it's too late to suture a woman.

In brief: To stop bleeding

Apply pressure and elevate the extremity.
It's a bit difficult to give any absolute rules about when to seek medical attention but certainly if there is much fat showing or if there is an inability to move the digit, if blood is squirting away from the wound or if you have numbness you must seek medical attention. Anything all the way through the skin and longer than about 1/2 inch should probably be seen also. After six hours it's too late to suture a woman.
Dr. Todd Sisto
Dr. Todd Sisto
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified, Surgery
27 years in practice
3M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors