168 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
b) Pull the thread until about 4 cm of thread
is left loose on the starting side.
Wrap the longer end of thread 2 times
around the beaks of the needle holder.
Then grab the shorter free end of the
thread with the tip of the needle holder.
With the needle in your fingers, pull the
needle holder in the opposite direction.
The thread will slide off the beaks and
form the first knot.
Tighten the knot onto the side of the wound, not on top of it.
c) Tie a second knot, to keep the first one tight.
Wrap the thread once around the beaks of
the needle holder.
Grab the free end with the tip of the
needle holder as you did before. Pull the
2 ends in opposite directions. The second
knot will form over the first knot.
d) Cut the threads so that about .5 cm is left free. If the ends are too
long, they will bother the person’s tongue. If they are too short, the
knot may come open.
Then cover the area with cotton gauze.
Tell the person to:
• bite against the cotton for 1 hour
to stop the bleeding, and
• return in 1 week for you to
remove the thread.
There is a special kind of suture material that disappears by itself,
which is good to use because the person does not have to return for
you to remove sutures. Unfortunately, it is expensive. If you cannot
afford it, use sewing thread and remove it 1 week later.