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29 June 2005

Removing fishhooks

Removing a fishhook is best left to a doctor, but if you are far from medical help, the following instructions will be useful.

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Removing a fishhook is best left to a doctor, but if you are far from medical help, the following instructions will be useful. Never remove a fishhook that is embedded in the eye or face or if you can feel a pulse nearby.

Home treatment

  • Numb the area with ice or cold water.
  • If the point of the fishhook is nearly through the skin and located near its surface, push the hook forwards in the direction of the curve of the fishhook until you push the barb has been pushed through the skin. Cut the barb off with a pair of pliers, and then pull the hook back through the original hole.

Or:
  • Wrap a string around the midpoint of the bend of the fishhook and near the skin's surface.
  • Push the hook down slightly with your index finger to disengage the barb.
  • Jerk the string while continuing to apply pressure to the shank of the fishhook.
  • Wash the wound with soap and running water and apply a loose, sterile dressing.
  • Do not try this method if the hook is located in a skin surface which is likely to move when the string is pulled, such as the earlobe. Make sure that you are wearing glasses or eye protection.

See a doctor if:

  • the hook is near the eye, a joint or a pulsating artery, or deep in the flesh.
  • you cannot remove it.
  • you haven't had a tetanus injection within the previous five years.
  • the area becomes infected.
 
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