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Lacerations of the hand

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Tendons and nerves near lacerations have been cut until proved otherwise, particularly if glass is involved.

Underlying damage is easily missed - look carefully for appropriate physical signs & refer to A/E dept:

  • all but the most minor injuries
  • children, when assessment is difficult
  • vascular, tendon and nerve injuries
  • likely fractures
  • wounds requiring immediate surgical treatment

Review later if the patient is drunk (but record details for follow-up in case of failure to attend).

Delayed closure may be necessary if there is extensive tissue damage, contamination or delay.

ref: N Lawrence et al, HB Emergencies in Gen Pract 2e, 1997


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