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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Fishhook Injuries
Even if you fish carefully,
you may get a
fishhook in your skin. A fishhook is a curved, sharp instrument placed on a lure or line
to catch fish. Some fishhooks have a barb near the tip that keeps the fish on the hook. You can also use a barbless fishhook, which may reduce the chance of a fishhook
Fishhook injuries often occur
when you remove a slippery, flopping fish from your line. Injury may also occur
when you are casting a line, when another person is casting a line, or if you walk
barefoot near fishing gear. The chance of a fishhook injury increases if you
are not familiar with fishing gear.
Most fishhook injuries puncture
the skin of the face, scalp, fingers, back, or ears. Home treatment can help
you remove a fishhook that is not too deep. It is
clean the puncture wound well to help prevent
A fishhook can cause other problems if it enters the
eye, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or bones. A fishhook injury is more serious
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you
should see a doctor.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind
of care you may need. These include:
Symptoms of infection may
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The
problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and
illness. Some examples in adults are:
With severe bleeding, any of these may
With moderate bleeding, any of these may
With mild bleeding, any of these may be
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be
able to take care of this problem at home.
You may need a tetanus shot depending
on how dirty the wound is and how long it has been since your last shot.
Based on your answers, you need
Call911or other emergency services now.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you need
Put direct, steady pressure on the
wound until help arrives. Keep the area raised if you can.
First aid for fishhook injuries
includes the following:
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
The following tips will help you reduce
your chance of a fishhook injury:
When you go fishing, be prepared for a fishhook injury. If you
are prepared, you may be able to remove a fishhook, which may prevent a serious
injury and decrease your risk of infection.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
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