How to suture a wound
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice    

How to suture a wound

Joseph Bonham Advanced nurse practitioner, Emergency Department, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Rationale and key points

This article explores how to suture a wound using several common techniques. The use of different suture techniques depends on various factors, including the type of wound, its location, skin thickness, wound tension and cosmetic considerations.

Nurses should have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant anatomy and underlying structures, and the expertise to determine that suturing, rather than other methods of wound closure, is appropriate in each case.

Nurses should work within their scope of practice and to agreed departmental protocols.

Nurses should audit and reflect on their practice to ensure that their suturing skills are maintained and improved.

Nurses should be aware of local procedures in the event of needle-stick injury.

Reflective activity

‘How to’ articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

What factors would affect your decision to use sutures to close a wound rather than another method.

How you think this article will change your practice.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10541


Peer review

This article is subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 27 April 2016

Accepted: 17 June 2016

Published online: 14 October 2016

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