Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Blood Under the Fingernail Overview

Another name for Blood Under the Fingernail is Subungual Hematoma.

What is a subungual hematoma?
A person with a subungual hematoma has a collection of blood under a fingernail or toenail. In most cases, this occurs after an injury to the fingertip or toe tip. Bleeding under the nail can cause intense pain.

What are the symptoms of a subungual hematoma?
Symptoms of a subungual hematoma include a collection of blood or a bruise beneath the nail. A large subungual hematoma may cause severe pain beneath the nail.

How does the doctor treat a subungual hematoma?
Subungual hematomas do not require treatment if they do not cause pain. Treatment for a painful subungual hematoma includes creating a hole in the nail, in order to allow the blood to drain from beneath the nail. This procedure is called trepanation, and it may be performed with a very tiny drill, or a needle.

Continue to Blood Under the Fingernail Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Blood Under the Fingernail References
  1. Campbell DA, Kay SP. The Hand Injury Severity Scoring System. J Hand Surg [Br]. 1996 Jun;21(3):295-8. [8771461]
  2. Chan J, Spencer J. Adaptation to hand injury: an evolving experience. Am J Occup Ther. 2004 Mar-Apr;58(2):128-39. [15068148]
  3. Gustafsson M, Ahlstrom G. Problems experienced during the first year of an acute traumatic hand injury - a prospective study. J Clin Nurs. 2004 Nov;13(8):986-95. [15533105]
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