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Question:

Knife Through Wrist, Unhappy with Doctors reccomendations in hospital

Dear Ask The Doctor:
My fiance managed, over Christmas, to stab himself in the wrist with a jack knife. The blda entered on the inside of the wrist, just missing the main artery, and came out the back side of his arm. We rushed him to the ER in the ambulamce, and after 5 hours, managed to get 3 stitches in to stop the bleeding. The very young doctor on duty tested his hand for feeling, found there was none in the thumb and first 2 fingers, yet still told us it was 'not urgent' and sent him home with a prescription for tylenol 3. No antibiotics...nothing... I'm very concerned that there could be an injury to the median nerve, as the sensory loss seems to show. I'm wondering if swelling could cause pressure on the median nerve, and the sensory loss will go away, or if I should get him to a plastic surgeon ASAP. Thank You :)


Answer:

I would advise you to take your fiancee to see his surgeon as soon as possible. It is important that the injury be further investigated to rule out injury to the median nerve as suggested by the findings. These symptoms may also be present if a compartment syndrome develops following the injury which again requires urgent evaluation by a surgeon.


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