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Thread: Sliced side of finger with rotary cutter

  1. #1
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Sliced side of finger with rotary cutter

    Ok, so this happened on Friday night. I was using the pinking rotary cutter and happily cutting - when it happened. Didn't even feel it (though I have felt it plenty since!). Question - anyone out there having had this experience - does this kind of thing heal on it's own? About how long does it take? No sign of infection. But the tip of my finger - doesn't take much for it to start throbbing. Starting to wonder if I should go to the doctor. And yet - thinking what can they do at this point - and again - no sign of infection.

    It's the right side top of my left index finger. The flap of skin was almost severed (maybe 1/2 inch long by a about 1/4 inch wide, several layers of skin). It was still attached in the center. While I considered going to the Urgent Care center, I decided against it because it wasn't so much that the cut was deep. There didn't seem to be anything to stitch.

    I held pressure on it until it stopped bleeding (took a bit). Poured hydrogen peroxide on it (boy did that sting). Then covered it in neosporin and wrapped well in gauze and taped. I kept it like this through Saturday (cleaned it a couple of times, changed the gauze). On Sunday I decided it probably needed to dry some so it could start healing.

    The bottom of the flap of skin looks like it has reattached. I didn't think that is possible - not sure if that is what happened. But it is sealed up around the bottom. The top oozes a little here and there. A blood clot was under the top edge. I actually cut that little bit off this morning (cleaned the clipper well, this part was kind of sticking up on my finger). Put neosporin on it again this morning since I cut that little bit off. I am a secretary - but find that I can't type in an extended fashion (the constant tat-tat-tat on the keyboard ends up hurting, but pecking away for small bits seems ok). Kind of wondering how long it will take to heal. I have had somewhat deep cuts before (sliced finger on can or with knife) - but I don't remember it still hurting a week later. Again, doesn't hurt constantly - but doesn't take much to set off the throbbing.

    You can bet I pay closer attention to where my fingers are at on my ruler now!!! Have read where people recommend a little gripper thing. Might just add that to my arsenal. This is one experience I don't want to repeat! Kind of wondering if the side of my finger will be misshapen. Oh - and I didn't realize how much one bumps their finger on things in the course of a day. A lot!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ksdot417's Avatar
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    Sorry you cut your finger - that must hurt like crazy. The only people I've known that cut their fingers badly with a rotary cutter needed stitches. I would imagine it will take a little while for that to heal.

  3. #3
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    It hurts and probably will for some time, especiallly if you use it ... and how could you not. Keep putting antiseptic on it and watching it for infection ... maybe research other treatments for faster healing. In a couple of months you will surely feel better. BTW how are you washing dishes?
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  4. #4
    Senior Member AprilG's Avatar
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    Sorry about your finger. I recently had a finger injury too. I went to the emergency room because it was a dog bite (to the bone) and looked bad. It hurt for about 2 weeks. If I bump it, it will still hurt and the injury was months ago. Now, I was told, in the emergency room...NEVER put peroxide on an injury. It not olny kills the bad germs and bacteria, but also the good. It is too late for stitches. Keep the wound clean and dry. Applying neosporin will help but keeps the skin wet and will take longer to heal. The skin flap will reattach but it takes a while. Trimming the dead skin is ok, but be sure that everything you use is sterile. Keep the wound covered during the day to keep dirt out. A bandaid will be enough. Wash you hands often to keep it clean and take some ibuprofin if it keeps hurting. Good luck.
    April
    Is there a doctor in the house? I just got bit by the quilting bug!

  5. #5
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    I have basically the same exact cut right now. The flap didn't reattach itself or whatever. It is just the moisuture from the neosporin. If you leave it uncovered for a day or a so after it starts feeling better you will see it sort of dries out. Mine happened Christmas Eve and it is still a visibile cut and very sensitive.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    MaryMo - I have loaded some dishes into the dishwasher. I have some rubber gloves that I put on. I take great care to keep it dry. The first several days, I tried not to do any of that. Good reason not to clean/cook/etc.

    AprilG - thanks for the info on peroxide. Didn't know that. To trim anything or not - I kept wondering about that. This morning decided that little sliver at the top with the blood clot might be impeding healing, so snipped it (skin was dead, no feeling there). Kind of sounds like keep doing what I have been doing. I did pour alcohol all over the clippers I used to snip.

    I do keep a bandaid on at all times. Other than this morning (since I messed with it) I have been leaving off the neosporin so that it can dry and heal. I will keep on keeping on then - inspecting it daily for any signs of infection while there are still parts that are raw and exposed.

    I didn't think I was being careless, but I will certainly slow down when cutting!

  7. #7
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    Oh boy, does that bring back memories! I did the same thing a year and a half ago...sliced the side of the same finger right off....didn't feel a thing, was amazed at the sudden spurt of blood, and then the pain started. Bled terribly. I went to the walk in clinic, where they took very good care of me....no stitches, nothing to stitch! They put a heavy coat of Aquafor over the area, after cleaning with just soap and water. A heavy bandage to protect from bumps. Went back in 2 days then they changed the dressing, told me to keep it covered and MOIST with the Aquaphor, which is like a petroleum jelly, for several more days. It healed well but took a long time and was very sensitive....lots of nerves in the ends of fingers. The finger is slightly misshapen on the side, but not noticeable really. I learned my lesson....I use a glove now. The funniest thing was when I got home from the clinic, I went to clean up the blood and found the little piece of flesh lying on my cutting mat.....dried up like a potato chip!!!! LOL Good luck, you'll be fine....glad you had no infection.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Gramalama9 - love the name!!! Hmm...wearing a glove - another thought to consider. That's the main reason I didn't go to the urgent care clinic - I figured there really wasn't anything to stitch. The flap was still attached in the middle - but still, I didn't think they would stitch that back. Suppose I could be wrong. Too late now if I am wrong. Guess I shouldn't worry about the healing time, as long as there isn't an infection and it isn't getting worse. Sounds like it will be a slow process.

  9. #9
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Ouch -- been there, done that about 2 yrs ago!!!! I made little "butterflies"...out of bandaids and closed mine up -- can't even see a scar now. I'd have had to drive 35 miles to urgent care....nope, not if I can help it!!! Besides, I'd have had to pay $$$ and I needed that money for fabric!!!! I have MY priorities!!
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  10. #10
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    Like gramalama9 says, it healed well 'but took a long time and was very sensitive'. When using a paper cutter at work,I sliced off the same spot, same finger as you. Her mishap was a 1 1/2 years ago. Mine was over 20 years. I do remember it seemed to take the better part of 2 years for it to stop being sensitive. I got use to using the other side of the tip of my finger to avoid pain. It took about 5+ years for the finger print to grow back. Until it did, it was a darker, smooth spot. When I hear of these type of injuries, I feel the pain all over again. I know my story is depressing but I adapted. I think the typing will be your challenge. -- When I did it, the first thing I did was to look around and see if anyone saw me. Didn't see anyone watching , so went to the restroom and wrapped it up and went back to work. Should have gone to the clinic, but was too imbarrassed to report being unsafe. I worked/retired from the Post Office and injuries are frowned on.

  11. #11
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    Is your tetanus shot current?

    That would be the only reason I would go to the doctor if there is nothing to "stitch".

    If it is current, just keep it clean and keep an eye on it.

    Sorry it happened

  12. #12
    Junior Member samifel's Avatar
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    I think most of us have done it at one time or another, but usually only once. It will heal! Keep it clean and try not to use it.
    Choose to be happy. Dare to be excellent!

  13. #13
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    OOOOWIE! Sorry the rotary cutter bit you. It will take a long time to stop hurting. It is going to throb occasionally until it is completely healed and the scab is off. It will sometimes hurt if you bump it for about 6 months after that. You should be able to type after the scab comes off without pain.

  14. #14
    Senior Member fatquarters's Avatar
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    Been there, done that!!! I think you have done everything right. I actually did go to emergency, DH made me, I talked the doc out of stitches, he just put a dab of glue on it, told me to keep it good and dry. It healed up fine, but will take a couple weeks because it's quite deep. If there is no infection, I wouldn't worry.
    fatquarters

  15. #15
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Keep it clean and dry. I would keep it covered with the neosporin or just triple antibiotic ointment. Most wound clinic doctors order twice a day dressing changes (former wound care nurse!) I would keep the dressing on it until you see new skin covering the area. Beware that this skin is fragile so you might want to keep a dressing on it even after the skin forms. See a doctor if your finger becomes reddened, hot to the touch, or the pain increases. And definately if you have any drainage from the wound.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  16. #16
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i cut my thumb and part of the nail. it bled for over four hours so i went to the Emergency room. sat there for another hour and it had stopped bleeding then, so they ended up only wrapping my thumb like I was a mummy. Since the nerves were cut a bit, i bought a metal guard that slips over the finger and that helped me work better. it took over two months to be able to stop wearing the guard. all is well now.
    irritating part was that the long ruler i was using had a plastic guard on one side and i was using the other side!!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Daffy Daphne's Avatar
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    So sorry this happened to you. I second skittl's mention of a tetanus shot/booster...that's important.

    This thread makes me doubly glad that hcarpini (I believe that was the member) told us about Rule Steady. I ordered one from Shiisa Quilts in Indiana and it is, as they say, da bomb! It did cost a little more than buying direct from Australia, but supporting our quilt shops is a good thing too.

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Please everyone you need to buy a safety tool for the rulers. There are several options available. If you use a rotary cutter you will one day probably cut yourself. I don't cut without a safety tool since I cut myself with the cutter. The trip to the ER, I could have bought everyone in my guild a Rule Steady! Not counting a price on hurt and soreness. I love the Rule Steady. It's pricey but I bet Dawn would think that price is nothing right now. Here are some links to safety tools for cutting. Pick one, buy and use it. Google them and may find some less expensive elsewhere.

    http://shop.shiisaquilts.com/store/p...sp?idproduct=2

    http://quiltersslidelock.com/

    http://www.createforless.com/Fons+_a...pid190029.aspx

    http://www.createforless.com/search/...=gypsy gripper
    Got fabric?

  19. #19
    Super Member sewmorethings's Avatar
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    Ouch hope you heal fast so you can get back to doing everything
    Doreen

  20. #20
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    I am a Reg. Nurse. I had a similiar experience about 3 years ago. The cut was really bad but it did heal and did not get infected. It took almost 4 weeks to close up completely. Keep an eye on it and if you think it is getting infected, see a doctor right away. I kept mine bandaged most of the first 3 weeks. It also taught me to be much more careful when cutting. Hope you will be OK.

  21. #21
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    I would go to urgent care asap and get it properly cleaned and butterflied or whatever it is then they cant do stitches. Ugh horrible thing - so sorry - hope it heals quickly!
    SueSew
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  22. #22
    Junior Member thevintageseamstress's Avatar
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    I have done it twice already in the last month and a half... it blead like there was no tommorrow.. It healed up fine both times. Still a little sore on the last one but never an infection and I am diabetic. I wash my hands so much and wash dishes there is little room for infection. I just kept a bandaid on it till it was at the point it was kinda healing. I am buying either a guard for my ruler or one of those suction grippers, and maybe even a klutz gove but sure I would trust the glove, it does not look like it could stop a rotary blade to me but its supposed to. Good luck and I would not worry unless it kept on bleeding.
    Did you say you dropped the pie!

  23. #23
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    the have glove for that so you don't cut yourself you should get one

  24. #24
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I used to make stained glass projects & was always cutting myself. Fingers bled a lot & take a long time to heal.

    During the day, apply antibiotic cream & keep bandaged. Take the bandaid off at night & allow the air to get to it so it can dry. I found it healed a little quicker by doing it this way.

  25. #25
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    I have done it too. Hope your finger is better soon!
    Long arm quilting in Carmel, Indiana http://quiltcycle.blogspot.com/

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