Close look on fish hook injury

A fish hook injury is a form of penetrating injury that arises once a fish hook is embedded in the soft tissues of the skin in the face or hand. Generally, the barbed end of the fish hook is difficult to remove.

The injury is prevalent among individuals who engage in recreational fishing. Typically, the condition is not serious but if it is embedded close to the eye, pierces a tendon or cartilage or cuts a blood vessel or nerve, it becomes a complicated issue.

The removal method used is based on the form of fish hook involved. Some fish hooks have a simple/single hook with several barbs while others are treble hooked with several barbs.

What are the signs?

The usual indications of a fish hook injury include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain or discomfort that is localized in the site of the injury
  • In most cases, only the skin is affected.
  • There are instances where the pointed fish hook sticks out of the skin while some remain embedded in the skin tissues.
    fish hook injury

    Place gentle pressure on the wound using a clean towel or cloth to control any bleeding.

The site of injury is usually the face, hand or neck and even the leg in rare cases. Once the hook is removed, swelling is likely to follow.

Management of a fish hook injury

  • The initial step is to slash the fishing line and get rid of the bait linked to the hook.
  • Before removing the fish hook, make sure that your hands are clean by washing with water and soap first.
  • Cleanse the area of the injury using clean water.
  • Place an ice pack on the site of injury to provide a numbing effect on the area if on hand.

Remember that the removal of the fish hook must be carried out by a doctor. This is based on the site of injury and the form of hook involved.

Once the fish hook has been removed, the follow measures must be taken into consideration:

  • Cleanse the site using clean water
  • Place gentle pressure on the wound using a clean towel or cloth to control any bleeding
  • After applying an antibiotic cream, cover the site with a loose dressing.
  • A tetanus shot might be suggested if the individual is uncertain of his/her last tetanus shot.

In case the wound is deep or wide, bleeding could not be controlled or there are signs of infection present, it is vital to seek immediate medical care.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on fish hook injury is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage this form of injury by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.


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