Recently, my 10-month old son dropped a metal mixing bowl on his finger, resulting in a subungual hematoma. That’s fancy speak for a bunch of blood pooling under his fingernail. He was understandably upset, but after several bottles of milk and some baby Tylenol, he finally settled down. My husband and I decided that no medical intervention was necessary (that’s fancy speak for “it’s after hours and I don’t think it’s worth calling the doctor, so let’s put him to bed and hope for the best”). He slept fine and seemed normal when he woke up, so I figured that was that. From my understanding, the only reason to treat a subungual hematoma is if the pressure under the nail becomes very painful, and he didn’t seem bothered by it at all.
However, I had some lingering concerns about long-term damage to his nail since the bowl landed directly on his cuticle, so I found myself headed down the same path I always go down whenever my son has a minor medical concern. Here’s the general thought timeline: Continue reading “Should I call the doctor?”