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Hand Therapist Led Follow-up for Paediatric Hand Injuries
Agata Plonczak, MBBS, BSc, Gordon McArthur, MD; Maxim Horwitz, MD
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Trust, London, United Kingdom

Introduction: Most hand injuries in children can be managed non-operatively and are associated with excellent outcomes. Whilst the majority of our patients are discharged to the care of hand therapists there is no literature to support this protocol. Our aim was to ensure this is safe and effective practice.
Materials & Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients referred to our paediatric hand trauma clinic for closed injuries over a 4 month period between December 2014-March 2015. Data related to demographics, injury pattern and clinical outcomes was recorded and analysed. A telephone interview with a patient satisfaction questionnaire was attempted with all patients discharged to the care of hand therapists.
Results: 139 patients were seen in the study period, including 90 males and 49 females. Phalangeal fractures (39%), volar plate injuries (19%) and metacarpal fractures (16%) were the commonest causes of hand trauma. The majority of patients (88%) were managed non-operatively. 98 patients were discharged to hand therapy follow-up and 51 patients completed a patient satisfaction questionnaire. 100% of the parents were happy with the care, 96% were not disappointed they did not see a doctor and 96% denied any complications.
Conclusion: Hand therapy led follow-up is appropriate for a selected group of paediatric hand injuries. It is safe and associated with high patient satisfaction.

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