Superficial injuries of the hand may be divided for purposes of discussion of treatment into those which are sharply lacerated and those which are the result of a crushing or avulsing injury. This discussion applies to the injury to soft tissue involving only the skin and the subcutaneous tissues of the hand.
The purpose of treatment of any wound is to convert it from an open wound to a closed one as early as possible so as to prevent the occurrence of infection or any delay in healing. Wounds seen within six or eight hours from the time of injury may be safely converted into a closed wound provided they have not been tampered with, as by injudicious attempts to control hemorrhage. After eight hours one feels that the wound has progressed beyond the state of simple contamination to one of actual infection and that it is unwise to close