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February 22, 2011

Keep your hand out of that snowblower


Doctors at Union Memorial Hospital Curtis National Hand Center have sent out a warning: Take care with that snowblower.

Shovel safety is a constant topic in winter, but the doctors say they just received another patient in the emergency room with a snowblower trauma – four fingers and a possible amputation of one. Hand surgeons can’t say if it can be reattached.

Rescue workers reported in a Sun story that it was a 50-year-old Laurel man who got his hand stuck in the snowblower.

So, the hand doctors want to remind everyone who uses a snowblower of some ways to prevent injury. First, if your snowblower jams, turn it off.

Never put your hand down the chute or around the blades, disengage the clutch, wait five seconds after shutting machine off to allow impeller blades to stop rotating, always use a stick or broom handle to clear impacted snow and never use your hand and keep all shields in place. Do not remove the safety devices on the machine.

Keep hands and feet away from all moving parts. And keep a clear head, concentrate and do not drink before using your snowblower.

They say if you do cut your finger or hand, bleeding from minor cuts will often stop on their own by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. You may need to go to the emergency room if that doesn’t stop the bleeding after 15 minutes. You may also need to go to the ER if you are due for a tetanus shot or to check for tendon or nerve injury if motion or feeling is lost in the finger.

Reuters photo

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 12:51 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Safety

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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