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Jun 19, 2010 10:28 PM

Food Related Injury

I have been prompted to ask this question due to a recent situation at my work. I am a nurse and work in a major trauma unit - an interesting line of work and we certainly see some different situations that land our patients there. On my last shift I cared for a patient who had amputated their finger while making sausages - their finger had got caught in the mincing machine. Aside from withholding from asking what kind of sausages they were making to start off with, it also got me wondering how many chowhounders have seriously injured themselves in the pursuit of their passion. I myself have sliced, grated and burned myself many a time, thankfully, not seriously. Have you ever managed to seriously injury yourself in the course of cooking?

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  1. first of all. OMG for their poor finger! yikes

    i have never seriously injured myself. knock on wood. My sister splashed her front with boiling water once while draining spaghetti. thank goodness it wasn't more serious, but the poor kid (30-something) was miserable for weeks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jujuthomas

      I did that to myself when I was a teenager while I was cooking dinner wearing my thin cotton summer uniform. I dashed into the bathroom and jumped in the shower but it blistered a sizeable portion of my stomach. I also gave my foot a large burn one time draining rice (NEVER face the pot towards the front of the sink while you pour it out - if it splashes out of the sink it's going straight onto your feet!

      My mother sliced her wrist open cutting a watermelon and she had to go to the hospital for stitches.

    2. I cooked professionally for 20 years. A lot of small injuries. Burns, (steam and sugar burns are the worst), cuts, bruises, contooosions. ETC. The worst one was when I chopped the top of my thumb off. I actually went to the ER for that one, after the shift of course.

      Worst I saw was a friend of mine. I offered to help him out to the dock with a stock pot full of hot fryer oil. He declined saying he could get it alone. He slipped on some ice and fell backwards. He was out for a couple of months after that. I ran into him years later and his face had healed completely, so I guess he was lucky on that point.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chileheadmike

        And cheese burns. Never try to catch a Sicilian pizza sliding off the paddle as it's being pulled from a pizza oven. They, like peanut butter sandwiches, always fall cheese side down.

      2. My grandfather lost a finger grinding meat at home many, many years ago (he passed away in the 70s). What I remember most is that they say that he made my grandmother clean it up!

        1. Mostly as a kid, fork wounds to the back of my hand when reaching for seconds before everyone had had firsts.

          1. When I was a kid (around ten or twelve) I scalded myself miserably by taking the lid off a pot of boiling water and having the steam roast my hand and arm. I remember vividly sitting in a dark closet with no lights on because light made the pain so much worse! Since then I've learned to IMMEDIATELY plunge a burn into ice water and keep it there until I can take it out with no pain. When I do that in a timely fashion, look ma! No blisters! It works great. But that painful scald as a kid is a vibrant memory.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              Since then do you also turn off the light while putting your hand in ice water.

              Hey, I thought putting your burnt hand in cold water is good, but not actual ice water.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                When I put a burn in ice water, photons no longer hurt! I've tried both cold water and ice water and for me, plunging a burn immediately into ice water and keeping it there until I can withdraw it and the "photon bounce" won't hurt any more will also preclude any blisters from forming. I do NOT recommend third degree burns of any size, but I have stopped a SMALL third degree burn from forming using this method. While I have read medical treatment plans that recommend cold, I've never read anything that says cold can prevent burns from forming. I've found that out from personal experimentation and have no idea whether it works for other people too. And that says something about how clumsy I am, doesn't it! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1

                  I've put burned fingers and other parts in ice water also. My fridge is right behind me when I'm standing at the stove so I will turn around, pull open the freezer drawer and stick wounded hand into the ice. Then I'll reach around, get a bowl, put ice into and put water in the bowl. Like you I really never have a blister form if I'm able to do that.

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I do the ice water thing also - and I keep it in there for a loooong time. It always works to prevent blisters.

                    Many years ago my sister had a pressure cooker blow up on her. She suffered 2nd and third degreee burns. on her arms and legs. It was a horrific scene. She has never used a pressure again and neither have I.

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      I've read that if you can get a burn into cold water immediately the damage will be one third as bad as if you left it smolder in the air.

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Just to clarify the burns thing, evidence does state that cool, running water is the best thing to put on a burn, as ice water can also do tissue damage. But as Caroline1 says it's really the full thickness burns you should NEVER do it for, but for superficial burns it's not necessarily going to do any harm.