The lakes draw many to live and vacation in our beautiful area. However, a common injury for those who fish or just hang out near docks and boats is becoming “hooked” when the intended catch was a fish.
The medical team at Essentia Health in Brainerd recommends removing the fish hook from your finger using the String Yank Technique:
1. Remove hook from lure by cutting at attachment ring.
2. Tape any additional free hooks to prevent the hooks from also getting embedded.
3. First, wash your hands with soap and water, or disinfecting solution, and then wash the area surrounding the hook.
4. Tie off a loop with some fishing line. Place the loop over the hook’s shank and lightly pull it against the bend of the hook.
5. With your other hand, press down and back on the hook’s eye.
6. Continue pressing down on the hook’s eye. Quickly and firmly jerk the fishing line backward, ensuring that the line is parallel to the shank. Don’t worry; only a tiny bit of skin is behind the barb.
7. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply a bandage.
8. Watch the area for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pain, or drainage.
It is recommended not to push the hook through the skin and cutting the barb as this introduces another potential wound for infection. Also, do not try to remove a fish hook that is deeply embedded in the skin, lodged within a joint or tendon, or located in or near an eye or artery. If you are at all unsure, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
If fishing is a favorite pastime, a tackle box should contain an electrician’s pliers with a wire-cutting blade and disinfecting solution. Additionally, don’t forget to receive a Tetanus immunization every 10 years. If needed, it may be done any time within 72 hours following the injury.
Essentia offers convenient locations for walk-in care seven days-a-week when the unexpected happens:
• Essentia Urgent Care, 13060 Isle Dr., Suite A, Baxter, (218) 828-2880, M-F, 8-8; Sat./Sun 9-4
• Essentia Convenient Care, 4178 8th Ave. NE, Brainerd (Cub Foods, east side of town), (218) 454-5800, 7 days a week, 8-7:30.
• Essentia Convenient Care, 14133 Edgewood Dr. N., Baxter (Cub Foods, west side of town), (218) 454-5802,7 days a week, 8-7:30.
• Emergency care is also available 24 hours a day at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, located at 523 N. Third St., Brainerd.