Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

High-Pressure Injection Wounds - Topic Overview

Puncture wounds caused by the injection of a substance under high pressure into the skin are serious injuries. High-pressure equipment may be used for paint, paint thinner, grease, oil, fuel, or other liquid solvents. Most high-pressure injection injuries affect the hands and fingers. These injuries are at high risk for infection, swelling, underlying tissue injuries, and possibly amputation. The risk of amputation increases if medical treatment is delayed for 6 hours or more. Things that determine how severe an injection injury is include:

  • The type, toxicity, temperature, and thickness of the injected substance.
    • Paint, paint solvent, and paint thinner cause the highest risk of early tissue damage and serious complications. The risk of amputation because of complications from these injected substances is high.
    • Grease, oil, and hydraulic fluid may cause no visible reaction in the first few days after injection but serious complications can become apparent after the first 3 days. The risk of amputation because of complications from these injected substances is lower than from the paint substances themselves.
  • The amount of substance injected. Larger amounts of fluid injected create more pressure on the blood vessels and other tissues.
  • The speed and pressure settings of the equipment. Higher pressures cause more fluid to be injected.
  • The site of injury. The left hand (or nondominant hand) is twice as likely to be involved than the right hand. The thumb and first two fingers are most likely to be injured.
  • The interval between the time of the injury and the time of treatment.
  • The spread of the injected substance into other tissues.
  • Health risks that may increase the seriousness of your wound.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    High-Pressure Injection Wounds Topics

    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