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    Hand Injury Treatment

    Call 911 if:

    • The person is seriously injured.
    • Injury includes amputation.
    • Bone is protruding through skin.
    • Bleeding cannot be stopped after several minutes of firm pressure.
    • Blood spurts from the wound.
    • The hand feels numb or cold.

    • The person is seriously injured.
    • Injury includes amputation.
    • Bone is protruding through skin.
    • Bleeding cannot be stopped after several minutes of firm pressure.
    • Blood spurts from the wound.
    • The hand feels numb or cold.

    1. For Cuts

    • Apply direct pressure until bleeding stops.
    • Remove rings and bracelets that may impede blood flow or compress nerves if swelling occurs later.
    • Clean area with warm water and soap.
    • Apply antibiotic ointment and a sterile bandage.
    • Apply ice and elevate hand to reduce swelling.
    • If a finger or part of a finger has been cut off, collect all parts and tissue and place in a plastic bag on ice for transport to the hospital with the person.
    • See a health care provider immediately for a deep cut, puncture wound, animal bite, human bite, or a scrape that you cannot get clean or if the cut shows signs of infection.

    2. For Sprains, Finger Dislocations or Fractures

    • Apply ice to reduce swelling.
    • Keep finger elevated above the heart
    • If finger is bent or deformed, don't try to straighten it.
    • See a doctor immediately.

    3. For Infection

    • See your health care provider if a hand injury shows signs of infection, including redness, swelling, warmth, or discharge.

    4. Other Times to Get Medical Help

    See a health care provider immediately for any hand injury if:

    • The person cannot move the hand or fingers
    • There are persistent new symptoms

    5. Follow Up

    If the person sees a health care provider, the next steps depend on the nature and severity of the hand injury.

    • For bites, puncture wounds, burns, and some other hand injuries, the health care provider will give a tetanus shot or booster if the person hasn't had one recently. The health care provider will also clean the wound and remove embedded dirt and debris.
    • For a fracture or dislocation, a doctor will X-ray the hand and may apply a splint or cast.
    • To prevent or treat an infection, the health care provider may prescribe antibiotics.
    • Surgery may be required for some hand injuries.
    • Physical therapy or occupational therapy may be prescribed to assist the person in regaining full function.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 25, 2015

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