Hand/Finger First Aid (after a severe accident)


If you have had a fall, were hit or got your hand or finger caught in something and you heard any noises like a pop or a crack, or had a sensation of something popping out, you should do the following. Firstly, I need you to pause the video and make sure you aren’t experiencing any of the ‘red flags’ below:



If you are experiencing any of the following please consult a doctor asap or go to the emergency department of your hospital.

  • Losing control of your bowel or bladder
  • Feeling dizzy or losing balance
  • Feeling weak or numb anywhere in your body
  • Persistent pins + needles
  • Feeling nauseous or vertigo
  • Feeling faint
  • Have double vision
  • Having problems with your speech or swallowing
  • Have a fever or night sweats

For more information about ‘red flags’ watch this video (click here).


What you should do is immobilise and elevate your hand using a sling or a triangular bandage, usually found in a first aid kit. Or simply by holding it close to your body using your good hand for support.


You should apply an ice pack, for up to 20 mins every two hours. Just be sure to put something between the ice pack and your skin, such as a towel or an ice pack holder and make sure you check every few minutes for any skin irritation.


Applying compression to the area will help to decrease any swelling and inflammation that may have started to develop. So if it was your hand, using a compression bandage starting below your fingers, overlapping the bandage by half the width each time, come down below your wrist. If it was your finger, use a smaller bandage or tape to splint it to the finger next to it.


You want to apply the compression firmly, but not too tight. Signs that it may be too tight include your fingers going numb or getting pins and needles, or any change in colour of your hand or fingers. Remove the bandage when you go to bed, only wear it during the day.


Avoid massaging or putting heat on the area and avoid drinking alcohol as all of these may increase any inflammation that may be present.


You should avoid moving your hand and fingers until you have seen a health professional.


I recommend that you try and see a doctor as soon as possible or go to the emergency department of your hospital, so they can rule out anything serious like a fracture and then guide you to the appropriate health professional for rehabilitation.


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