Fishing for flesh
"Thankfully, a patient had a sense of humor when things go wrong while fishing. His fish hook didn't grab any fish in Lake Michigan this day, but instead decided to grab a big piece of his scalp! He came into the ER with a big fish hook lodged in the right side of his head. As an ER doctor, the first thing I think of is how the scalp can bleed very easily and profusely and thankfully, the hook was controlling the bleeding where it was stuck.
"But once I removed it, I needed to prepare for the amount of blood that would be released. The difficulty with fish hooks is their rigged shape. They have a circular curve with a barb and gap, which causes them to do real damage on what should be fish (not humans). Fishers rip them off after they capture fish, but there was no way I could just rip it off his scalp.
"Coaching the patient through the process so he could relax, I numbed the area and had to create a bit of a wide incision around the entry of the fish hook, and rotate and wiggle it out. Because I used a little epinephrine, I was able to minimize the amount of bleeding after removal. I then repaired the wound with sutures. When there is a foreign body stuck anywhere on your body, it's important to leave it stuck until you seek medical attention. Removing it without assistance could cause further damage." -- Dr. Jerisa Berry, Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, co-owner of Vital Care Medical Center