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Hand Injuries (cont.)

Hand Injury Treatment

Home care for hand injuries initially involves proper first aid techniques. In most cases, serious hand injuries will require medical attention.

Lacerations (cuts)

  • Apply pressure to the wound to stop bleeding.
  • If possible, wash dirt or debris from the wound.
  • Cover the wound to prevent further contamination or injury.
  • Do not remove large foreign bodies such as nails, hooks, or knives.
  • Seek medical attention.

Fractures (broken bone) and dislocations

  • Immobilize or splint the hand, if possible.
  • Cover the injury if bone is exposed (open fracture), with a clean towel, cloth, or gauze.
  • Ice may help decrease the pain, but never apply ice for more than 20 minutes at one time, and never apply ice directly to skin.
  • Seek medical attention.

Soft tissue injuries and amputations

  • Apply pressure to stop bleeding.
  • Cover the injury with a damp bandage, if possible.
  • Elevate the hand above the heart to reduce bleeding.
  • Retrieve the amputated body part (if possible). If possible, cover the amputated body part, keep it damp, and place the part (for example, finger or thumb) near ice to cool. Do not place body part in direct contact with ice in order to prevent freezing.
  • Seek medical attention.

Infections

  • Keep the injury clean and dry.
  • Seek medical attention.

Burns

  • Thermal (heat) burn: Cool with water, not ice, and then cover the injury.
  • Chemical burn: Irrigate with lots of water, then cover the injury.
  • Frostbite: Rewarm with warm-water bath or soak, then cover the injury.
  • Seek medical attention.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014
Medical Author:

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