Little is known about the magnitude of hand injuries at national levels. This paper quantifies and characterises the incidence of hand injuries that require acute medical attention at Emergency Departments in The Netherlands and Denmark. Except for the incidence rate and the referral after treatment, the overall picture of hand injuries is similar for both countries: hand injuries show a peak for teenagers, result mainly from home and leisure accidents, are mainly caused by objects and falls, the majority affect fingers and result mainly in superficial injuries, open wounds and fractures, a small proportion of the victims is admitted into hospital. We conclude that hand injuries are a real burden to society and are worthwhile to be prevented with special attention for home and leisure accidents and occupational accidents. Data recording on the backgrounds of accidents and their long term consequences should be improved.