Stab Wounds Treatment
Treatment for a stab wound varies with the depth of penetration and the anatomic location of the wound. Penetrating wounds to the neck, chest, back, and abdomen are among the most serious locations for a stab wound.
Many stab wounds may will require wound care, antibiotics, and tetanus vaccination. Pain may be managed with narcotic pain medications or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Additional treatment for a severe stab wound may require intravenous fluids, a blood transfusion, or surgery to repair damaged tissue. Stab wounds to the abdomen of indeterminate depth require surgery to exclude damage to the internal organs.
Specific treatment for a stab wound may include:
- Wound irrigation
- Rinsing the wound
- Wound cleansing
- Wound exploration:
- Examining the wound for foreign bodies or injuries to structures beneath the skin
- Wound debridement:
- Removal of dead or dirty tissue
- Removal of foreign bodies in the wound
- Laceration repair:
- Cuts and punctures are repaired with sutures, staples or skin adhesive
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Ibuprin, Nuprin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn)
- Ketoprofen (Oruvail, Orudis, Actron)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- Antibiotics for stab wounds:
- To treat or prevent infections
- Tetanus vaccination
- Surgery for skin lacerations:
- To remove foreign bodies or repair damaged tissue.
Treatment for a severe stab wound may include:
Stab Wounds Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of stab wounds.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Will I need surgery?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Stab Wounds Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a stab wound:
Continue to Stab Wounds Warning Signs
- 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. 
- Kahn JH. The management of stab wounds to the back. J Emerg Med. 1999 May-Jun;17(3):497-502. 
- Leppaniemi A, Haapiainen R.Diagnostic laparoscopy in abdominal stab wounds: a prospective, randomized study. J Trauma. 2003 Oct;55(4):636-45. 
- 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.