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Slammed my thumb in car, profuse bleeding with deep cut. Should I go to hospital?

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I slammed my thumb in my car door today (it closed all the way) it bled pretty profusely, and the gash is deep but I don't have insurance so I am trying to avoid going in for stitches.The woman who helped treat me on the spot wrapped my thumb and hand in gauze and told me to keep it on for 24 hours to be sure it would clot. Then I could decide whether or not to make my way to a clinic for medical attention (since they aren't open today on Memorial Day!) or keep it clean and use butterfly bandages to keep it from separating on my own at home.My thumb is bruised pretty badly from the ordeal, but I'm worried the bandage might be too tight and that the color of the portion of my thumb I can see is not just from the bruise.Should I change the bandage even though it hasn't been 24 hours? And how bad is it to leave it for 24 hours if it is indeed too tight? It definitely feels better to have it stabilized, I probably broke some bone in there too.


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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Hello,

It's important you keep the wound clean as if it gets infected, infection can enter through blood into your system and lead to septicemia. Remove the bandage, wash with clean water first. If you can get sterilized water and wash it. Later wash it with butadiene or hydrogen peroxide. This will to an extent keep the area disinfected. After that place cotton, if you feel there is a particular vessel damaged, that is bleeding is occurring continuously, apply pressure on that area.

Following that, wind gauze around it. Keep the finger with bones I position, keep two scales against the dorsal and ventral plane and wind the gauze around it tightly. Try keeping in position as much as possible.

Visit a doctor as soon as you can as you definitely need suturing and reduction else your thumb can be deformed permanently.


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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