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.