Your hands and the dangers of daily life: good gestures to adopt

Your hands, tools of precision and great complexity, intervene in all your actions. Every day, they are therefore exposed to multiple dangers, and are primarily affected by many traumas.

So remember to protect them by taking the habit of removing your rings for your DIY, cooking, and sports activities; by reading the instructions for using your tools to control their proper functioning; by not removing the protection systems from your machines; wearing gloves or any other protection necessary for the practice of your activity (work, open fire / barbecue, motorbike, rollerblades, skiing ...); and keeping children away from dangerous activities.

In this article, find the good reflexes to adopt in case of: wound, burn, dislocation and fracture, infection, bite, amputation.

Wound: good reflexes

Any hand wound requires medical advice and most often surgical exploration because of the major risk of damage to nerves, tendons or vessels.

To do

  • Simply rinse the wound with saline
  • Do not use colored antiseptic
  • Make a moderately compressive bandage on the wound and raise the limb in case of bleeding
  • Stay strictly on an empty stomach (do not eat or drink)
  • Do not smoke
  • Consult a Hand Surgeon or your GP

Not to do

  • Put a tourniquet
  • Put pepper in the wound
  • Neglecting a small hand wound

Burning: good reflexes

A burn on the hand requires medical advice due to the risk of edema, infection or vicious scarring limiting subsequent mobility

To do

Not to do

  • Put a fatty substance on the burn (oil, butter, mustard ...) or any other remedy from grandmothers (potatoes, vinegar, honey, egg white, salt, toothpaste, or rabbit hair ...)

Dislocation and fracture: good reflexes

A luxation is a dislocated joint, it must be replaced urgently. A fracture is a partial or complete fracture of a bone, with or without displacement of the fragments. It is all the more serious as the displacement is important or, if it reaches a joint. We speak of an open fracture when there is a wound exposing the fracture. The risk of bone or joint infection is therefore very high.

To do

Not to do

  • Neglecting painful swelling of a finger, hand or wrist

Infection: good reflexes

Hand infections are very common. These include paronychia around the edge of the nail or pulp, abscess, phlegmon of the flexor sheaths, or even rarer bone or joint infection. Any infection requires prompt and well-monitored treatment due to the risk of progression to a more widespread or chronic infection.

To do

Not to do

  • Take antibiotics without medical advice
  • Neglecting a hand infection
  • Pierce or crush an infection yourself

Bite: good reflexes

Both human and animal bites are at high risk of bacterial infection.

Human bite, often the result of a fight, dangerous practices or games, can transmit tetanus or the hepatitis C virus.

The animal bite often following the separation of fighting animals or the awkwardness of a child attracted to play with an animal can expose to various infections such as rabies, tetanus, cat scratch disease, plague, according to geographic areas and type of animal (domestic, imported, wild).

Any bite generates wounds (punctiform or lacerated) whose appearance does not always reflect the severity. However, they represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and should not be considered harmless.

To do

  • Simply rinse the wound with saline solution or wash with tap water and soap
  • Do not use colored antiseptic
  • Make a moderately compressive bandage on the wound and raise the limb in case of bleeding
  • Stay strictly on an empty stomach (do not eat or drink)
  • Do not smoke
  • Consult a Hand Surgeon or your GP
  • Check the status of your tetanus vaccination

Not to do

  • Neglecting a small hand wound

Amputation: good reflexes

An amputation of a finger or limb segment may be subject to microsurgical reimplantation. Certain rules are however to be respected in the conditioning of the amputated fragment, and the deadlines of assumption of responsibility.

To do

  • Stay calm
  • Simply rinse the wound with saline
  • Do not put cotton or colored antiseptic that attack tissues
  • Make a moderately compressive bandage on the amputated limb and keep it raised
  • Keep the amputated segment dry, wrapped in compresses if possible, all in a clean, waterproof plastic bag
  • Then put the plastic bag in a container with ice
  • Stay strictly on an empty stomach (do not eat or drink)
  • Do not smoke
  • Go to an emergency department right away

Not to do

  • Put a tourniquet
  • Put the amputated fragment in direct contact with ice, water or any other colored liquid