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Current Approach to the Evaluation and Management of Hair-Thread Tourniquets

Gottlieb, Michael, MD; Holladay, Dallas, DO; Spearman, Daniel, MD

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001827
CME Review Article

Hair-thread tourniquet syndrome is a rare, painful condition that occurs when a strand of hair or thread becomes wrapped around toes, fingers, or other appendages. This causes focal edema, which eventually reduces arterial blood flow and can lead to ischemia and necrosis. A thorough physical examination and assessment of risk factors are important. Treatment involves depilatory agents or targeted incision at the bedside or in the operating room. Successfully treated cases can be discharged with local wound care. Parents should be advised on prevention strategies and ensure close follow-up for reexamination.

Assistant Professor and Director of Ultrasound (Gottlieb), Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Ultrasound (Holladay), and Resident Physician (Spearman), Department of Emergency Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.

The authors, faculty, and staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity and their spouses/life partners (if any) have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial organizations relevant to this educational activity.

Reprints: Michael Gottlieb, MD, 1750 West Harrison St, Suite 108 Kellogg, Chicago, IL 60612 (e-mail:

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