bleeding finger
Lacerations of the finger can bleed quite profusely because of digital vascularity. This obscures the provider’s ability to perform a careful exam and can make suturing quite difficult. Simple direct pressure over the laceration often controls the bleeding.

What if this doesn’t work?

Trick of the Trade:

Glove tourniquet “ring” for a bleeding finger

Each finger receives blood supply from the radial and ulnar branches of the digital arteries. Hemostasis can be achieved by external compression of these branches. An elegant tourniquet can be made from a glove.



  • Cut off the finger of a glove.
  • Create a small hole at the distal tip of the finger glove.
  • Put this finger glove on your own finger.
  • Push and roll the finger glove proximally to create a tourniquet “ring”.
  • Remove the ring and apply on your patient’s finger.


  • Avoid cutting too big of a hole at the finger glove tip in order to maximize tourniquet tension.
  • If the tourniquet ring is still too loose, use the pinky finger part of the glove or select a smaller glove to start with.

Alternative / Supplemental Tip


Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD