Treatment for Finger Injuries

Call 911 if: 

  • Blood is spurting from the wound
  • Bleeding cannot be stopped after 5-10 minutes of firm and steady pressure

Treating Finger Injuries at Home

1. Stop Bleeding

  • Apply firm pressure until bleeding stops.
  • If finger or part of finger is severed, put the severed part in a clean plastic bag, pack the bag in ice, and take it with you to the doctor.

2. Clean Wound

  • Wash with fresh water.
  • Apply antibacterial cream to reduce risk of infection.
  • Apply a sterile bandage.

3. Control Swelling

  • Apply ice to a bruised or swollen finger.

4. When to See a Doctor

  • Inability to move the finger
  • Numbness
  • Bone is exposed
  • The wound is deep or long.
  • Pain and swelling are severe or persistent.
  • You can't clean the wound or the wound is very dirty. (You may need antibiotics)
  • The injury is a puncture or open wound and you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years.
  • The injury is from a human or animal bite.
  • If the wound doesn't heal or shows signs of infection: redness, swelling, pain, or pus.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 17, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Leggit, M. American Family Physician, March 1, 2006; vol 73(5): pp 810-816.

National Library of Medicine: "Cuts and puncture wounds."

American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation: "Cuts and abrasions."

American Medical Association. American Medical Association Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Medical Care, Random House, 2009.

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