Puncture wounds caused by the injection of a substance
under high pressure into the skin are serious injuries. High-pressure equipment
may be used for paint, paint thinner, grease, oil, fuel, or other liquid
solvents. Most high-pressure injection injuries affect the hands and fingers.
These injuries are at high risk for infection, swelling, underlying tissue
injuries, and possibly amputation. The risk of amputation increases if medical
treatment is delayed for 6 hours or more. Things that determine how severe an injection injury is include:
The type, toxicity, temperature, and thickness of the injected
Paint, paint solvent, and paint thinner cause
the highest risk of early tissue damage and serious complications. The risk of
amputation because of complications from these injected substances is
Grease, oil, and hydraulic fluid may cause no visible
reaction in the first few days after injection but serious complications can
become apparent after the first 3 days.
The amount of substance injected. Larger amounts of
fluid injected create more pressure on the blood vessels and other
The speed and pressure settings of the equipment. Higher
pressures cause more fluid to be injected.
The site of injury. The hand that you use most often for tasks like writing or brushing teeth is called your dominant hand. Your other hand is called your non-dominant hand. Your non-dominant hand is twice as likely to be involved in a high-pressure injection injury than your dominant hand. The thumb and first two fingers are most likely to be
The interval between the time of the injury and the time
The spread of the injected substance into other
Health risks that may increase the seriousness of your
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine