Smashed finger or toe
Dropping a heavy object on your foot or smashing your finger are some of the common injuries in our daily experience. When injuries like these involve only the end segment of the finger or toe and do not result in a deep or bad cut, they can often be treated successfully at home.
Blood often pools under the nail of the smashed finger or toe, causing severe throbbing pain due to the pressure under the nail. Often the nail is partly pulled off during the accident. Do not remove the nail. Take proper medical care.
To remove blood from under the nails
If there is blood pooled under the injured nail that is causing severe pain, follow these steps to remove the blood and relieve the pressure :
- Wash hand or foot thoroughly with soap and water.
- Straighten a metal paper clip.
- Holding the paper clip with a pair of pliers, heat the tip in a flame until it is red-hot.
- Apply the hot end of the paper clip to the nail over the discolored area.
- Allow the hot paper clip to bum a hole through the nail until the blood begins to ooze out of the hole. This won’t hurt, but you may notice an odor as the paper clip bums through the nail.
- Remove the paper clip and press on the nail with your fingers until all the pooled blood is out from under the nail.
If the person can move the finger or toe easily and the injury does not involve the nail bed, apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and use acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra or a generic or a similar nonprescriptive pain reliever.
If the finger is bleeding, apply pressure on the wound and elevate above the heart until bleeding stops. Wash the wound with soap and water and watch for any signs of infection (red swelling, warmth and increased tenderness).
Wrap the finger or toe in a thick gauze bandage to protect the injury.
Wearing open-toed sandals or slippers will allow an injured toe to heal more comfortably.
Signs and Symptoms that needs immediate care
- Any suspect of bone fracture.
- Numbness in finger or toe.
- Nail completely pulled off.
- Pain gets worse rather than better within 12 hours.
- Finger or toe swells to over 1-and-1/2 times its original size.
- Finger or toe turns white or feels cold to the touch.
- Pus develops under injured nail.