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Creating a suture kit

Im creating a suture kit. I have noticed that the absorbable sutures are very expensive, but the PGA absorbable dental ones are very affordable.  So I’m wondering if the dental sutures will absorb/dissolve for outside skin?

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  • Comments (11)

    • 1

      I’m not sure that  a suture kit is a good idea outside of  a clinically sterile environment. Suturing has never been part of either my first aid or EMT training.

      • 2

        preparing and prepping for an emergency where you might have no choice but to do a suture.  It is better to educate now and have on hand the proper tools just in case there was no other options in an emergency.  I would say create a sterile environment and do the suture if there was no way to get to the clinic.

    • 1

      There are a number of non suture wound closures alternatives such as Butterfly strips, Steristrips and a fairly new to the market Zip-stitch. All available on the well known market place. I have had great success with steristrips. These can often provide a good alternative to sutures in an emergency. I’m not sure if you are considering wound closure after doing surgery, but that is a whole other ball game.

      • 1

        Very good suggestion, and I’m getting those today as well. In fact that would be preferred over a suture.  I’m also wondering what other steps I need to do for deep cuts before closing ? apply saline solution or distilled water?  silver nitrate solution ? styptic spray?

      • 3

        Our in-house medic (former paramedic and Navy Corpsman (medic) with Marine Recon in Iraq. Currently teaches wilderness medicine) has created a whole guide on this topic. Here it is: https://theprepared.com/survival-skills/guides/close-wound/

      • 2

        Very cool! I will check it out now. Thanks a million !

    • 1

      If you don’t know how, and more importantly – when – to use them, don’t bother.  Suturing performed incorrectly or unnecessarily can make a wound far worse, especially under field conditions.  They’re also terribly painful to use – are you going to stock lidocaine as well?  As others have mentioned, there are better options available for the layperson. 

      • 1

        Yes I agree. I’m just prepping in case. I would not do in the field. I do have a Lidocaine sorce, but many say that is more painful than the sutures.  but Im stocking in case. 

    • 2

      Addressing your question about how to manage a deep laceration, I thought I might share a couple points on wound care.  

      Irrigation is the most important thing to do.  There have been several studies on which fluids are best, and no single fluid has performed better.  Tap water can be just as effective as sterile saline (https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/1/e001504) assuming a potable municipal water supply.  Lacking that, I would use some sort of treated water (add chlorine, betadine or similar).  I think in liters when it comes to volume.  You can’t irrigate too much, though you could use too much pressure if you are squirting it in forcefully with a syringe.

      I was taught that an open wound is a safe wound.  Just irrigate it, pack it with clean gauze or the best you have, and repeat the process daily.  It will heal from the bottom up and you have very little chance of trapping bacteria in where they will thrive.  I’m very comfortable suturing lacs and skin injuries but can’t think of a situation when I would want to in an improvised setting.  I would also encourage caution with glues because they can really trap bacteria.  If a wound starts to look infected it is easy to pop a staple or suture, or remove a steri strip and let it drain.  Once you’ve glued it shut that becomes very difficult.

      • 2

        very good info thanks.  I do remember a surgery with a very deep cut that used a wound vac on my arm, instead of sutures. I was very impressed how fast my arm healed up. The silver and saline solution was also used throughout the healing.

      • 1

        Also a lot of people talking about super glue . I’m glad you addressed that.  Great info!