Hand and fingertip injuries in children


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Abstract

BackgroundHands are frequently injured in children. To date, the literature has focused on the type and treatment of hand injuries. This study examines the epidemiology of hand and fingertip injuries in children who present to an emergency department (ED).DesignRetrospective chart review.SettingPediatric emergency center of an urban ED.ParticipantsAll patients over a period of 8 months who presented with a chief complaint of hand injury.MethodsA total of 17,859 charts were reviewed during the study period; 382 patients were enrolled in the study (male preponderance of 1.4:1; median age, 10 y).ResultsThe most frequent injury setting was outdoors (47%). The most frequent injuries were lacerations (30%), followed by fractures (16%). Only five patients required hospitalization (1.3%). The digits are the most commonly injured part of the hand, particularly the thumb (19%). Fingertips are involved in 21% of cases. Radiographs and consultations were obtained in 64% and 16% of cases, respectively. Infection occurred in 14 (3.7%) patients.ConclusionHand injuries occur in a bimodal distribution in children. Children younger than 2 years suffered fingertip injuries in the home, and children aged 12 to 16 years suffered hand injuries. Sports injuries tend to present late and are the most common cause of hand fractures.

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