Whether fishing from boats or river banks, there is nothing quite like catching your own fish to cap a satisfying day. Unfortunately sometimes an angler hooks something different, themself. Here are a few tips on dealing with fish hook injuries.
Sit, calm and cut
When someone is caught by a hook, get them to sit and calm down to prevent further personal injuries through slips, trips and falls as the shocked injured individual staggers around on a rocky boat or slippery bank. To prevent others from suffering trip injuries or, worse still, making the fish hook injury worse by plunging the hook deeper into the victim’s skin or ripping it out, cut the line as quickly as possible.
Assess the accidental injury to see whether you can deal with it yourself or need to get professional medical assistance. Puncture wounds on the back, fingers, scalp, ears or face are bad enough, but can usually be self-treated. If the hook is close to or has entered the victim’s eye, veins or ligaments; muscles, tendons or even bones, the following symptoms may be experienced:
- Cold, pale, white or blue skin
- Inability to properly move the affected body part
In such cases, it is recommended to seek professional assistance as soon as possible.
Remove the hook
When self-treating, the first priority is to remove the hook. If the barb has not emerged, it is necessary to push the hook further through until the barb emerges and can be cut off. Once the barb is removed, the hook can be gently pulled out without causing further damage. As this creates a second puncture, it also aids drainage.
Bleeding and infection
Using a clean dressing or bandage, apply pressure to the wound for approximately 15 minutes to stop the bleeding. Prevent infections by cleaning the wound with antiseptic wash, applying antiseptic cream and bandaging it. Puncture injuries are notorious for closing up and sealing in bacteria deep under the skin. As fish hooks are often contaminated with marine bacteria, it is vital to look out for signs of infection (redness; pus; swelling) and seek medical help if they are noticed. It is also wise to get a tetanus booster as soon after the incident as possible.
Caught by a hook
If you were caught with a fish hook or suffered an injury in any other fishing accident, you may qualify for personal injury compensation. Get confidential advice and legal assistance under a conditional fee agreement from Accident Advice Helpline.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice