Items tagged with 'oof'

Familiarity breeds chopped off fingers

snowblowerWe have to admit we had a "What?!" moment when we saw this press release from Albany Med today about snowblowers -- you can basically boil it down to: a hand surgeon says you shouldn't stick your hand in a snowblower chute.

It's like a dispatch from the Darwin Awards. Who really needs to hear that?

Well, we decided to look up research on just that topic. And the answer to that question appears to be: people who should probably know better.

From the abstract of a small study by researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery in 2008:

The majority of patients were aware of safety warnings (77.20%) and injured themselves with the machine running (82.35%) resulting in multiple digit injury (2.0 on average) on the dominant hand (68.18%).Operator inexperience, low operator intelligence, and excessive alcohol consumption do not seem to contribute to injury. Instead, significant experience, older machines, short durations of use before injury, characteristic weather patterns, and underlying misperceptions about snowblower design and function typically set the stage for injury.

And once a snowblower chops off your fingers, there's not a lot that can be done. Said the study's lead author, Dr. Daniel Master, to HealthDay in 2009: "The injuries need to be prevented, because they're not the type of injuries that can be reconstructed ... even if you have the amputated part, it's essentially useless."

There are reportedly about 3,000 of these sorts of injuries every year. In 2010, a hand surgeon in Pennsylvania told the Morning Call that he performed six snowblower-related amputations -- in one afternoon. "Happens every storm. It's as predictable as people blowing their fingers off on the Fourth of July."

Apparently the injuries often happen when wet snow clogs the machine and someone sticks a hand in the chute to unclog the snow, allowing stored tension to spin the blades, then... well, you can probably guess.

So: don't stick your hand in a snowblower chute. Use a broom handle or something. Just not one of your appendages.

photo: Flickr user bark (cc)

Earlier on AOA:
+ What it's like to freeze to death
+ Death by icicle

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: on who is Albany, the state of our state, fire vs.... (more)

Good wine classes?

Lauren emails: I'm looking for someone who is interested in teaching a small group (2-4) people about wine once a week for around a month.... (more)

Morning Blend

After ten hours of deliberations Assembly Democrats announced on Tuesday that Sheldon Silver will be out as speaker as of Monday. It's still not clear... (more)

Today's moment of winter, before and after

Monday afternoon ahead of the forecasted icy, snowy apocalypse we snapped a few "before" pics. And then Tuesday afternoon we snapped a few after pics.... (more)

Welcome to Night Vale live show at The Egg

A touring live show of the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale will be at The Egg May 18. Tickets are $30 and they're on... (more)

Recent Comments

My boyfriend put up a whiteboard in our shower (thinking he could get his ideas down while in the shower)- however the steam allows about 20 seconds of writing time- so now its more of a love note board- I love pulling back the shower curtain and seeing a cute drawing and note!

Drawing: Valentine's Day dinner at Nine Pin Ciderworks

...has 78 comments, most recently from Jennifer

Good wine classes?

...has 1 comment, most recently from Relax is Delish

All that remains of the Quintessence building

...has 10 comments, most recently from Cyril

Today's moment of winter, before and after

...has 2 comments, most recently from Paul

The Best Dozen: Hannaford

...has 5 comments, most recently from Eric Scheirer Stott