SUTURE REMOVAL

Effective Date: 
Thu, 08/04/2011
Reviewed: 
Sat, 08/27/2011
Revised: 
Sun, 08/28/2011

SUBJECT: SUTURE REMOVAL

PERSONNEL: RN, LVN who has demonstrated competence in suture removal.

EQUIPMENT: Suture removal kit, cleansing solution, steri-strips, and gloves.

PROCEDURE:
A patient may present after being sutured here or from an outside facility. The nurse reviews chart or documentation from outside facility for suture removal instructions.
Standards for suture removal without a contravening order are:

Face: 4-5 days
Scalp: 7-10 days
Extremities: 10-14 if over joint, 7-10 days for others
Trunk: 7-10 days
Oral mucosa: absorbable

The nurse examines wound for erythema, exudate, or signs of non-healing, and consults with clinician if these are found or if there is any other question or concern.
The area is cleaned with Normal Saline or soaked if crusting inhibits access to sutures.
The sutures are removed and steri-strips applied.
The patient is instructed how to care for wound and what complications to watch for.


DOCUMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP:
The nurse documents the nature and timing of injury, the size and appearance of wound,
the care provided and follow-up instructions given.