How to Treat a Smashed Nail

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To treat a smashed nail, the nail bed has to be drilled to relieve the pressure. Find out how to treat a smashed nail with expert tips from a fire captain in this free video about first aid treatments.

Part of the Video Series: First Aid for Minor Injuries
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Video Transcript

You know, at some point in time we all receive some type of injury to a digit like a finger or a toe. I'm Captain Joe Bruni. And what I'm going to talk about is how to relieve the pain and treat a smashed fingernail bed or toenail bed. The first step is to examine the damaged toe or nail to see if a trip to the emergency room or doctor is in order. If this is the case, apply some type of ice pack or ice in general to the effected area until you get to the medical facility. Or for a maximum of twenty minutes. And then twenty minutes off to avoid some type of cold injury from occurring from the ice. If you're going to treat the smashed nail yourself, keep in mind, that there's many home remedies out there to drill or burn through the nail bed to relieve the pressure. However, keep in mind, this is a severe treatment that could result in a severe burn injury. If you heat up a paper clip, drill bit, or any other pin or type device to burn through, do not apply pressure when doing that. The heat will burn through the nail on its own. But keep in mind, if done incorrectly, or one slip occurs, a burn injury will result. It is much better left to the medical professionals to drain that nail bed area if this needs to be done. By going to the emergency room or the doctor's office to have it done professionally and in sanitary conditions. I'm Captain Joe Bruni. Stay safe, and we'll see you next time.


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