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Assessment and management of scalp lacerations

Judd E Hollander, MD
Martin Camacho, MSN, CRNP, ACNP-BC, ENP-BC
Section Editors
Anne M Stack, MD
Allan B Wolfson, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


Scalp lacerations are a common injury. Clinical evaluation should identify associated serious head injury, laceration of the galea, or bony defect of the skull. After hemostasis is achieved and the wound is irrigated, scalp lacerations are typically closed with surgical staples under local anesthesia. Sutures may be preferred over staples for large, gaping wounds and to provide hemostasis for wounds with brisk bleeding.

The assessment and management of scalp lacerations will be reviewed here. Minor wound management, methods of suture placement, and closure of skin wounds with staples are discussed in detail separately:

(See "Minor wound preparation and irrigation".)

(See "Closure of minor skin wounds with sutures".)

(See "Closure of minor skin wounds with staples".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 29, 2016.
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