what to do in the event of a hand injury?
Every year, on New Year’s Eve, opening oysters is one of the most frequent incidents in the emergency room. In a hurry and stress, it can quickly slip. Here is the advice of an emergency physician.
Food that reduces for holidays par excellence, oysters (and especially their opening) can be the cause of small domestic accidents, in particular hand injuries. A study carried out in 2018 by the Institut de la main had even revealed that the opening of oysters caused every year no less than 2,000 incidents. And for half, damage to nerves or tendons and risk of loss of functionality of certain fingers. So what are the good reflexes in case of injury? Answers with Dr. Jean-Paul Fontaine, head of emergencies at St. Louis Hospital in Paris.
Wash the wound with soap and water
“There is no need to use pharmaceutical products, alcohol or worse, coffee grounds, onions or other more or less fanciful grandmother’s remedies, immediately warns Dr. Fontaine. You attack the injured skin unnecessarily. Soap and water are more than enough to remove all particles.” The doctor then advises to carry out this cleaning with minuteness. “If there is no bleeding, this cleaning should be enough”, rest assured, even if he does not rule out a trip to the doctor in the coming days to check that the wound remains superficial. On the other hand, if it is bleeding profusely, cover it with a clean compress by tightening it. Sometimes it is difficult to keep a dressing on this area so a compress can do the trick as long as it is clean, the emergency doctor further specifies.
Do not panic in case of heavy bleeding
Just because your fingertips bleed a lot doesn’t mean it’s bad. The important thing is to clean well with soap and water, and to go to the emergency room. “In the case of a deeper injury, the problem is no longer to repair and heal the skin but to heal what is under the skin, i.e. the roots or the joints”, warns Jean-Paul Fontaine. So we don’t hesitate to call the emergency services to check. They may be able to refer you to institutes that specialize in hand accidents.
Don’t hang around to consult
- Don’t wait two days to go to a doctor, or to the emergency room. A reasonable and quick delay is highly recommended;
- Provide the necessary documents;
- Bring your health record to the emergency room. In panic, we don’t necessarily think about it. However, this reflex saves precious time for doctors (and for you at the same time) especially if information about vaccines is mentioned;
What to do in case of cut finger?
In this situation, you can quickly panic, so the easiest way is to call 15. For those who have the courage, the ideal is to pass the piece of your finger under water, dry it and preserve it in a clean bag with ice.
But before we get there, we take precautions. Do not use a knife to open the oysters, but perform this operation with a specific tool designed for this purpose. Protect yourself with mesh gloves. You can possibly ask your scaler to unlock them first. This avoids a big scare and eliminates any risk of spending the holidays in the emergency room.
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