First Aid for injury to the tip of the finger or nail

First Aid for injury to the tip of the finger or nail

This can be very painful and may even lead to a permanent deformity of the growing nail. The tip of the finger can get caught in the closing door of the car or at home. Sometimes, the injury is not severe and the child does not complain of much pain. There may not be much swelling either. Such cases can get better without any treatment. The problem arises if you notice swelling or blood is noticed under the nail.


Treatment: Such a situation needs urgent medical attention. While waiting for the doctor, give cold compresses with crushed ice in a small hand towel or a piece of cloth. If ice is not available, take cold water and let the finger be dipped in it. If the skin is cut, wash it with soap and water and put sterile gauze (available in packets with the chemist) on it. If the finger is bleeding, a cold compress will help. Too much pressure to stop the bleeding should be avoided, as there may also be an underlying fracture. Keep the finger a little raised.

The doctor will decide if there is a need to remove blood from under the nail by making a small hole in it. If he suspects a fracture, he will ask for an X-ray.  Consulting an orthopaedic surgeon is essential if a fracture is confirmed or if there is damage to the nail bed, where nail growth takes place.


Source: Book - Guide to Child Care by Dr R K Anand

To consult Dr R K Anand in person, click here

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