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
- 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.
Referenced on 24/05/2021
- 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.