Ring/constricting Band Removal

Ring/constricting Band Removal is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Primary constricting band: A band tightened around an appendage causes swelling and pain (e.g., a hair knotted around a toddler's toe).
  • Secondary constricting band: Injury or disease process that causes swelling and edema as a result of tightness against the band (e.g., impacted ring with an underlying fracture of the finger)
  • Untreated, the constricting band may become embedded and interrupt skin integrity.
  • Tourniquet syndrome occurs when anything causes a constriction and there is distal tissue effect.

Pediatric Considerations
In the preverbal child, a constricting band may be a manifestation of child abuse or neglect. It should also be considered as a cause of inconsolable crying.

Geriatric Considerations
The cognitively impaired nursing home resident or Alzheimer patient may be unable to give an indication of injury or pain.


Tourniquet syndrome may result from allergic, dermatologic, iatrogenic, endocrinologic, infectious, malignant, metabolic, physiologic, or traumatic conditions, or it may be related to pregnancy.

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