When considering when to remove sutures in the hand, leave sutures that are over areas of tension (i.e. over a joint) for longer (at least 12 days) so they heal completely.
If controlling bleeding is an issue, do NOT clamp any digital arteries, as the digital nerve is very nearby and hard to visualize. Use pressure, limited tourniquet and elevation to control bleeding safely.
Prophylactic antibiotics are indicated for for all animal bites to the hand, and for certain complex injuries (crush wounds, wounds over a joint, or for immune compromised patients).
If referring a hand abscess to a clinic, consider swabbing the drained fluid so MRSA status can be determined.
Immobilizing the PIP joint in extension can stiffen the collateral ligaments causing permanent disability, so don’t splint PIP joint for greater than 1–2 weeks unless necessary, and if splinting, ensure an early referral time. (within 1–2 weeks).