When to visit the emergency room

Knowing when to visit the emergency room can be tricky. Delaying treatment can cause serious damage, but emergency room trips can also be expensive and time-consuming. Visit the emergency room if:

  • If you’ve burned yourself and your skin is white and leathery
  • If you have bleeding that will not stop after 5 minutes of direct pressure
  • If you’ve cut yourself and now have numbness in the area
  • If your fingers are pale and cold after a traumatic injury or cold exposure
  • If you can’t move a joint or the joint is very painful and difficult to move
  • If your finger, hand or forearm is bent unnaturally after an injury
  • If you see something white through your skin, which could represent a bone or tendon
  • If you had a high pressure injection injury such as from a paint gun
  • If you have redness and swelling after an insect bite, animal bite or a cut in the skin
  • If you have intense bruising, swelling or pain after an injury

If you decide against visiting the emergency room, be sure to seek treatment with a hand surgeon near you as soon as possible. Visit www.HandCare.org to find a hand surgeon.

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