D.M Macgregor; *J A. Hiscox
Accident & Emergency Unit, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Cornhill Road, Aberdeen and
*Aberdeen Royal Hospitals Trust, Foresterhill, Aberdeen
0036-9330/99/08298/114 $2.00 in USA
© 1999 Scottish Medical Journal - Scot Med J 1999;
44: 114-1l5


Fingertip and nailbed trauma caused by doors is common in children, ocurring when fingers are either shut in the door itself or are trapped in the hinge as the door is closed. An audit was carried out over five months of all fingertip and nailbed injuries due to trauma from a door: One hundred and eighty eight children, 2% of all attendances in this period, had sustained such trauma, 39% of these occurring in children under four years of age. One hundred and forty one children (75%) had sustained relatively minor soft-tissue injury to the finger. However the remaining forty seven (25%) of the injuries sustained were more serious e.g. Avulsion of the nail from the nailbed or amputation of part of the fingertip and 29 (15%) required a general anaesthetic for exploration, cleaning and repair. The Plastic Surgery department followed up these 29 children and 71 Accident & Emergency follow-up appointments were generated by the remaining injuries. The incidence of significant injury was higher than expected and caused considerable distress to both the children and their parents. It is suggested that home safety protocols should feature advice on how to avoid these injuries.


N V Doraiswamy
Inj. Prev. 1999;5;298-300 /


Objective: to understand the epidemiology, sites, and mechanism of finger injuries in children and to consider safety measures.

Setting: accident and emergency department of a children’s hospital in Glasgow.

Methods: a prospective study was carried out with a specifically designed questionnaire. Altogether 283 children presenting with isolated finger injuries were identified over six months. Available safety measures to avoid or reduce damage from such injuries were considered.

Results: finger injuries were common (107 among 283; 38%) in those under 5 years. Most of these occurred at home (168 among 283; 59%), commonly (136 among 283; 48%) because of jamming between two closeable opposing surfaces, and mostly (108 among 136; 79%) in doors at home and school. The doors were commonly (85%) closed by someone and often (60%) by a child. 16 among 283 children (6%) were treated for amputation.

Conclusion: finger injuries are common, especially at the preschool age, and are mostly caused by jammed fingers in doors, at home. Safeguards should be considered according to location, like home or institutions, and expense.