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Distal Fingertip Injuries in the Pediatric Population
Kathleen Busa, BS1; Kyle Eberlin, MD2; Amir Taghinia1
1Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; 2Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Introduction: Fingertip injuries are extremely common in the pediatric population. Despite this, there are very few studies which examine a large sample of patients with these injuries.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of 1877 pediatric patients with fingertip injuries presented to the Emergency Department of a tertiary care pediatric facility from 2005 to 2011. The charts of these patients were reviewed and relevant demographic, clinical, treatment, and follow-up, and outcome parameters were recorded.
Results: The mean age at the time of injury was 8.6 years with a range of 1 month to 21.9 years. The majority of injuries included a distal phalangeal tuft fracture (n=650, 35%). More patients presented with an injury to the right hand (n=970, 52%). The most common digit injured was the middle finger (n=398, 21%). The most common mechanisms of injury were: finger caught in door or window (n=655, 34%), sharp laceration (n=542, 29%), sports injury (n= 208, 11%), and crush injury from another mechanism (n=187, 9%). 446 (25%) patients required an operation. The average number of follow up appointments in the clinic was 1.
Conclusion: This is the largest epidemiological study on pediatric fingertip injuries. Due to the considerable time and cost burden of these mostly preventable injuries, the findings of this study are of particular importance for public health. They highlight the importance of establishing guidelines and recommendations for injury prevention in children.


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