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Hand Infections

When discussing about sports injury, we tend to focus on the big traumatic stuff like fractures, broken bones, dislocations, torn ligaments or massive swellings. Minor injuries are often brushed off especially with the more physical contact sports. After all, isn't discipline and perseverance part of the game?

As a result we tend to overlook hand infections, particularly lacerations (cuts and grazes) and for the more contact sports, bite wounds are not uncommon.

Lacerations

Cuts and grazes to the hands and fingers are a common occurrence in sports as a result of accidental contact with equipment, playing surfaces and between players or participants.

All cuts and grazes have the potential to become infected and should therefore be taken seriously.

Standard practice should be wash and clean all cuts and grazes hygienically with antiseptic solution monitored carefully for a number of days for any signs of infection.

If an infection develops the following signs symptoms may be present:

  • severe , throbbing pain
  • fever
  • movement of fingers reduced with pain
  • swelling and redness in the hand

If two or more of the above signs and symptoms are present then the risk of an infection is high and you should immediately report to the nearest doctor or hospital.

Bite Wounds

Skin of the hand broken by human teeth is a particularly dangerous wound. Human saliva contains such high levels of bacteria that these injuries should always be presumed to be contaminated. Skin is broken either from a punch to the mouth or a bite wound.

It is highly recommended that a course of a broad spectrum anti-biotic be administered by a doctor immediately and the wound not covered over or closed.

Why taken lacerations and bite wounds seriously?

Because due to the continuity of tendons of the hands into the wrist and forearms, infections can spread rapidly if not treated. Consequences can be highly destructive and hand infections frequently require hospital admissions for more specific anti-biotic therapy and or surgical intervention. In serious cases the tissue can become necrotic and die.

So please do take these sometimes rather innocuous and minor wounds seriously and seek medical treatment immediately if required. 
 

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