Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size
A
A
A

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

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
Slideshow
3d scan of fractured skull
Slideshow
 
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Slideshow
Person taking food from oven
Q&A
 
sniffling child
Slideshow
wound care true or false
Slideshow
 
caring for wounds
Slideshow
Harvest mite
Slideshow
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More