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Temporary Disabilities

There are temporary disabilities affecting an individual's hand which

are sometimes beyond the control of the identification officer. These

can be fresh cuts, or wounds, bandaged fingers or finger, occupational

(carpenters, bricklayers, etc.) blisters, and excessive perspiration.

Children, whose ridges are small and fine, would also come under this

heading. Extreme care should be exercised in fingerprinting the


An indication on the fingerprint card to the effect fresh cut,

bandaged is not sufficient to file the fingerprint card. It is

obvious that a fingerprint card bearing these notations cannot be

properly classified and filed. The same situation would occur if there

were a blister on an individual's finger. The blister temporarily

disfigures the ridge detail. When an injury is temporary, the prints,

if at all possible, should not be taken until after the injury has


Occupational problems (bricklayers, carpenters, etc.) are definitely a

challenge to the identification officer. In some instances, by means

of softening agents (oils and creams), it is possible to obtain

legible inked impressions. It is further suggested that in these cases

a very small amount of ink should be used on the inking plate.

Excessive perspiration can be controlled to some extent by the

identification officer. Excessive perspiration causes the inked

impressions to be indistinct. It is suggested in these cases to wipe

the finger with a cloth and then immediately ink the finger and roll

it on the fingerprint card. This process should be followed with each

finger. It is also suggested that possibly the fingers could be wiped

with alcohol, benzine, or similar fluid which would act as a drying


In all the above situations, if it is not possible to accurately

classify and file the fingerprint card, the name appearing on the card

will be searched in the alphabetical files and then returned to the

law-enforcement agency.