Hand and finger lacerations are prevalent in U.S. emergency departments (EDs), although the extent of these injuries remains unknown. For a study, researchers sought to explain the prevalence and etiology of hand and finger lacerations in US emergency departments.

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database examines hand and finger lacerations seen in EDs in the United States from 2015 to 2019.

Hand and finger lacerations account for 243,844 and 587,451 ED visits per year, respectively. Affected individuals are predominantly White (70.5%), male (63.4%), and aged 18 to 44 years (46.3%). Knives (30.5%), metal containers (4.2%), and drinkware (3.8%) are the top three products linked to hand and finger lacerations, and men are less likely than women to be injured by these products, particularly knives (odds ratio 0.76; 95% confidence interval 0.60-0.96; P<0.02). Although alcohol is involved in a minority of hand and finger lacerations (1.2%), men have higher rates of alcohol involvement than women (X21=11.7; P<0.001). Lacerations are common in the household (61.3%). Many patients (44.2%) present to extremely big hospitals, while over half of those under the age of five and one-third of those aged five to seventeen present to pediatric hospitals. Most patients (97.4%) are treated and released without being admitted, with only 0.2% transported to another hospital. Patients who have been involved with alcohol, drugs, or medicine are more likely to depart against medical advice, be hospitalized, or be retained for observation (P<0.001).

Hand and finger lacerations account for a large proportion of emergency department visits. Therefore, injury prevention in industry, education, and public health can be guided by a better understanding injury trends and presentations.

Reference: jem-journal.com/article/S0736-4679(21)01065-9/fulltext