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Ouch! What to Do If You Slam Your Finger in a Car Door


a man's fingers being pinched in a closed car door

Did you or an innocent loved one slam your finger in a car door? It's a very painful experience many of us can relate to. In that moment of shock and pain, it's essential to know what steps to take to minimize the damage and promote quick healing.


If you think you may have a break or fracture, can't move your finger, or experience severe pain that doesn't go away, IEP Urgent Care has seven locations open seven days a week, with experienced ER-trained providers and digital x-ray machines on-site to diagnose and treat your injury.


Here's a quick guide on what to do if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation:


Step 1: Stay Calm


It's entirely natural to feel a surge of panic and pain, but take a deep breath and try to remain as calm as possible. Panicking may only intensify the discomfort. Some folks with a short temper will lose it quickly, and could hurt themselves further.


Step 2: Assess the Damage


Examine your finger carefully to determine the severity of the injury. Look for signs of swelling, bruising, or any visible deformities. If you notice any signs of a more serious injury, like a broken bone or severe bleeding, seek professional medical attention immediately.


Step 3: Elevate and Ice


If the injury is not severe, elevate your hand to reduce swelling. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth to the injured finger for 15-20 minutes. This will help minimize swelling and alleviate some of the pain.


Step 4: Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication


Consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage the pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage on the packaging.


Step 5: Rest and Protect


Give your injured finger some time to rest. Avoid using it for any strenuous activities, and try to keep it protected from further impact. If the pain persists or worsens, consult with a healthcare professional.


Step 6: Keep an Eye on It


Watch for any signs of infection, such as increasing redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice these symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.


Step 7: Buddy Taping (if necessary)


If you suspect a mild sprain or strain, you may consider buddy taping the injured finger to an adjacent, uninjured finger for support. Use medical tape or a finger splint if available.


Step 8: Seek Professional Help if Needed


If the pain is severe, the finger appears deformed, or there are signs of a more serious injury, don't hesitate to call or walk-in to one of our seven IEP Urgent Care locations.

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