#EMconf: Hand Injury Pearls

Snow day for the Cooper EM Residents! Instead of today's conference pearls we finish out our trauma/orthopedic module from January with a high yield summary of clinically useful hand pearls from our awesome new hand surgeon Dr. Nicole Jarrett's lecture:

  •  A quick method to check circulation in hand injuries: apply O2 sat probe to affected digit, if unable to pick up signal concern for vascular injury. Also check color, cap refill, temperature, doppler.
  • High pressure injection injuries always need a hand surgery consult and will almost always go to the OR for wash out and exploration
  • It is safe to use a tourniquet for 2 hours then must take it down for 20 minutes befor reapplying
  •  Fight bites always require a xray (for a fracture or foreign body/tooth) and almost always go to the OR 
  •  Lidocaine with epinephrine is okay to use in digits as long as there is no concern about vascularity
  •  Number of compartments of the forearm: 3 (mobile wad, volar, dorsal)
  •  Number of compartments in the hand: 10