Assessment, management and treatment of acute fingertip injuries
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Assessment, management and treatment of acute fingertip injuries

Anthony Kearney Registered advanced nurse practitioner, Tallaght Hospital, emergency department, Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
Louise Canty Registered advanced nurse practitioner, Tallaght Hospital, emergency department, Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland

Fingertip injuries with nail bed trauma can require specialist hand surgery, depending on severity. However, most of these injuries can be managed in well-equipped emergency departments by emergency nurses with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the fingernail and surrounding structures, assessment and examination, pain management and treatment. This article describes the surface and underlying anatomy and physiology of the nail, the most common mechanisms of injury, relevant diagnostic investigations, and initial assessment and management. It also discusses treatment options, referral pathways, and patient discharge advice.

Emergency Nurse. 24, 3,29-34. doi: 10.7748/en.24.3.29.s28

Correspondence

ballinaminton@gmail.com

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software.

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 13 April 2016

Accepted: 03 May 2016