Stab Wound

A stab wound can cause infection, bleeding and damage to organs and tissues in the area of the wound. Care must be taken for complete recovery. Much of the time stab wounds can be treated by cleaning them and applying a sterile dressing. Sutures, skin adhesive strips or staples may be used to close some stab wounds.


  • Rest your injury for the next 2-3 days to reduce pain and lessen the risk of infection.

  • Keep your wound clean and dry and dress as instructed by your caregiver.

You might need a tetanus shot now if:

  • You have no idea when you had the last one.

  • You have never had a tetanus shot before.

  • Your wound had dirt in it.

If you need a tetanus shot, and you choose not to get one, there is a rare chance of getting tetanus. Sickness from tetanus can be serious. If you got a tetanus shot, your arm may swell, get red and warm to the touch at the shot site. This is common and not a problem.


  • You develop increasing pain, redness or swelling around the wound.

  • You have nausea or vomiting.

  • There is increased bleeding from the wound.

  • You develop numbness or weakness in the injured area. This can be due to damage to an underlying nerve or tendon.

  • There is a pus-like discharge from the wound.

  • You have chills or an elevated temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You have shortness of breath or fainting.