Fewer needles to numb finger injuries

Treating finger injuries could require fewer needles thanks to emergency medicine researchers in Queensland.

Finger injuries are common in the emergency department. However, Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department Staff Specialist, Dr Shane Martin, was the lead researcher in a trial showing doctors can numb the injury with one not two injections.

Dr Martin conducted a clinical study involving 86 Queensland patients, with a research grant from the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF).

He found that a single injection of a nerve blocking anaesthesia in the palm (known as single-volar subcutaneous) was just as effective as the standard two anaesthesia injections in the back of the hand (double-dorsal).

The double dorsal injection is currently the most commonly used method of numbing a patient’s injured finger.

 Dr Martin said his research has added to the body of evidence that a single injection is an effective alternative.

EMF awarded Dr Martin a Queensland Research Program Trainee Grant in 2012 to undertake this research at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital under the supervision of Associate Professor Kevin Chu.

EMF’s Queensland Research Program is fully funded by the Queensland Department of Health.

Read the paper in the Journal of Emergency Medicine Australasia

 More about this project


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