Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Stab Wounds Overview

What are stab wounds?
A person with a stab wound has a deep puncture wound that damages the tissue beneath the skin. The term, stab, usually refers to a puncture with a knife or sharp weapon.

What are the symptoms of stab wounds?
Symptoms of a stab wound include a puncture wound, as well as pain, swelling, tenderness or numbness of the skin around the wound. A stab wound to an arm or leg may result in poor circulation to the fingers or toes. Symptoms of a severe stab wound may include pale skin, fatigue, faintness, difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, confusion, or fainting.

How does the doctor treat stab wounds?
Treatment for a stab wound may include wound care, laceration repair, antibiotics, tetanus vaccination, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment for a severe stab wound may require intravenous fluids, a blood transfusion, or surgery to repair damaged tissue.

Continue to Stab Wounds Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Stab Wounds References
  1. Boyle EM Jr, Maier RV, Salazar JD, et al. Diagnosis of injuries after stab wounds to the back and flank. J Trauma. 1997 Feb;42(2):260-5. [9042878]
  2. Kahn JH. The management of stab wounds to the back. J Emerg Med. 1999 May-Jun;17(3):497-502. [10338245]
  3. Leppaniemi A, Haapiainen R.Diagnostic laparoscopy in abdominal stab wounds: a prospective, randomized study. J Trauma. 2003 Oct;55(4):636-45. [1456611]
  4. Tsikitis V, Biffl WL, Majercik S, Harrington DT, Cioffi WG. Selective clinical management of anterior abdominal stab wounds. Am J Surg. 2004 Dec;188(6):807-12. [15619504]
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