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

Solar continues to grow around New York

The Capital Region had the second-highest amount of installed solar energy generation capacity in the state as of 2014, according to numbers released by the... (more)

Pasties, Pencils, and Pints 3rd anniversary

Sassy drink 'n draw Pasties, Pencils, and Pints returns to The Hangar in Troy July 16 after taking a few local months off. It's the... (more)

Albany I Spy 2015, game on

The clue sheet and map for this year's Albany I Spy, the popular photo scavenger hunt from Albany Archives and the Albany County Convention &... (more)

Hopping islands in the Hudson River

Ahead of the Rail, River, Hudson II tour this coming weekend, we have a series of posts focusing on the Hudson River this week. I've... (more)

Morning Blend

Dannemora escape David Sweat was discharged from Albany Med early Sunday morning and moved to the Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus (in Seneca County),... (more)

Recent Comments

And there it is. Architectural panel. This is what the people in this project think is good enough for you, Troy. I can't wait til this project limps to the finish line in time for the upcoming elections. Then we can just go about calling the building what it really is: The Atrium 2.0

A look at the latest plan for the 1 Monument Square project in Troy

...has 22 comments, most recently from Paul

Neighborhood highlights

...has 3 comments, most recently from SGK

Good mechanic / specialist for car exhaust system repair?

...has 13 comments, most recently from Martin

Restricted public access at Kaaterskill Falls this summer

...has 1 comment, most recently from Gary Bisogna

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 1 comment, most recently from KB @ Home-Baked Happiness