preparing for medical emergencies in your home

What To Do If You Smash Your Finger With A Hammer

Any kind of maintenance or construction around the home has the potential for causing injuries. One of the most common that you may experience is hitting yourself with a heavy tool or object, like a hammer. Hammer injuries are particularly problematic because people tend to strike with a hammer with all their strength, and if your body is in the way, it's likely to cause a lot of pain. If you or a loved one are going through this, here's what you should do.

Damage Done

For what it's worth, this kind of injury usually doesn't result in a fractured or broken bone. Since hammers are relatively broad, the strike tends to distribute energy across the thumb, and the soft tissues absorb a great deal of it before it can reach the bone. If you're healthy and not experiencing something like osteoporosis, chances are your bones are okay.

However, that doesn't mean you're out of the woods. With an injury like this, blood vessels are likely damaged, causing them to open up or tear. This can lead to more pain and difficulties down the road.

Getting Help

If you've experienced this injury, you should immediately head to a medical facility like a walk-in clinic for support. This is the kind of problem that can be easily treated by this type of clinic without the trouble of waiting for an appointment with your regular doctor or having to wait in an ER for however long it takes for them to be able to care for you.

If you're worried about the walk-in clinic's availability or ability to take you immediately, give them a call. They can let you know if they're able to see you, and if not, where you can go for support.


Once you're at the clinic, they'll take some basic information and then bring you in for an examination. Your injury will be examined for signs of any broken bones, as well as any cuts that could have allowed an infection to occur.

If it looks like you've simply endured blunt trauma from a hammer or other tool or object, the most likely step they'll take is to drain the area. With the aforementioned blood pooling, your thumb or other body parts can swell with blood, increasing pain. This blood will eventually be cleared away by the body, but it could take days to go down, whereas getting help from a professional will immediately provide you with relief.

The doctor or nurse you see will either lance the wound to drain it or use a syringe to remove the blood. This will immediately bring down the swelling and will help your skin to feel more relaxed and less stressed. From there, you may be given antibiotics as a precaution. After that, you're free to go. Your injury will recover the rest of the way on its own, and with a lot less discomfort, to boot.