Evaluation of Patients Undergoing Removal of Glass Fragments

Abstract: The hand is the body part most frequently injured by broken glass.
Glass fragments lodged in soft tissues may result in numerous complications,
such as infection, delayed healing, persistent pain, and late injury as a result
of migration. Between 2005 and 2010, we removed 46 glass particles from
the hands of 26 patients. The injuries were caused for the following reasons:
by car windows broken during motor vehicle accidents in 11 patients (42%);
by fragments from broken glasses, dishes, or bottles in 9 (35%); by the hand
passing through glass in 5 (19%); and by a fragment from a broken
fluorescent lamp in 1 (4%) patient. Despite the efficacy of plain radiographs
in detecting glass fragments, they are sometimes not obtained. Given the
relatively low cost, accessibility, and efficacy of radiographs, and the adverse
consequences of retained foreign bodies, the threshold for obtaining radiographs
should be low in diagnosing glass-related injuries of the hand.
Key Words: glass injuries of the upper extremity, foreign bodies, glass