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Little is known of the scale of avoidable injuries presenting to medical services on a national level in the UK. This study aimed to assess the type and incidence of preventable wrist and hand injuries (as defined by the core research team) at a national level in the UK. 28 UK hospitals undertook a service evaluation of all hand trauma cases presenting to their units over a 2 week period in early 2021 identifying demographical and aetiological information about injuries sustained. 1909 patients were included (184 children) with a median age of 40 (IQR 25-59) years. The commonest five types of injury were fractures of the wrist; single phalangeal or metacarpal fractures; fingertip injuries; and infection, with the most common mechanisms being mechanical falls and manual labour. This is the first extensive survey of preventable hand injuries in the UK, identifying a need for further work into prevention to reduce healthcare burden and cost. 50% of injuries presenting to hand surgeons are preventable, with the most common injuries being single fractures of the wrist, phalanx and metacarpal. Few preventable injuries were related to alcohol or narcotic intoxication. Further research is needed to identify how to initiate injury prevention measures for hand injuries, particularly focussed towards hand fracture prevention.

Original publication




Journal article


Jpras open

Publication Date





305 - 312


Hand, Injury, National, Prevention