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Wounded Kitchen Warrior


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Any tips from the medicos out there on how to quickly stop finger cuts from bleeding (short of cauterization)? Every time I slice into a digit it bleeds copiously for too long, interuppting and delaying meal prep inconveniently. So I'm wondering if there is some trick to quickly staunch the wound and get back to cooking without adding blood to the dish.

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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Pressure. If it's in an awkward place, like in the webbing between your fingers, and it's bad, you're outta luck. Apply heavy pressure until it's staunched at least a little, tape that sucker up TIGHT, change if/when the bandage bleeds through.

For bad cuts, butterfly closures and the gel-pad sticky bandages (sort of an offshoot of what runners use to cover blisters) work well. Don't put either of them on until the bleeding has slowed to an ooze.

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Two words: Super Glue. :shock: Stings, but it seals the cut immediately.

Totally agree -- AFTER the pressure. Depending on how deep the wound is, usually you have to wait at least a minute to get the slices to be cleaned and re-adhered to one another. Then use Super Glue.

Seriously.

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Two words: Super Glue. :shock: Stings, but it seals the cut immediately.

Thanks. I'll give it a try. Look for a post soon asking how to unstick fingers that have been super-glued together. :rolleyes:

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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Any tips from the medicos out there on how to quickly stop finger cuts from bleeding (short of cauterization)?  Every time I slice into a digit it bleeds copiously for too long, interuppting and delaying meal prep inconveniently.  So I'm wondering if there is some trick to quickly staunch the wound and get back to cooking without adding blood to the dish.

Not being a smart ass,but why are you cutting yourself so much?are you semi-new to the field?has your chef not taught you to hold a knife?whats the deal?

Dave s :unsure:

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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My husband is a bit of a klutz sometimes and cuts a finger while cooking. After bandaging snugly, he applies a latex finger cot, which contains any "bleed through" and is waterproof. They use those in his factory if someone cuts a finger; that's where we got the idea. You can get them at drugstores.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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coffee grounds; i've never tried it but i hear it works, cayenne pepper actually does work quite well, unless it's squirting...usually though two or three bandaids plus either a finger cot or a disposable latex glove works nicely...try curling your fingertips under when you cut; if you use your knuckles as a guide for the blade you are less likely to slice yourself; also, make sure your knives are VERY sharp...that way you have to use less force to cut, and are less likely to go off course and chop your hand off. either way maybe a batman-style utility belt filled with bandaids. peroxide, etc. if you are still loppin off fingers :raz: seriously though good luck; oh yeah look up any professional cooking text and it will have visual guides for finger placement to minimize cuts.

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I get pretty frequent cuts. . .I'm a home cook, without any training (except for the extraordinarily helpful EGullet Culinary Institute knife skills class), and get cuts mostly from "newbie" mistakes. . .like, I only had to try to catch a falling knife once. And then the time I didn't try to catch it, I didn't jump out of the way fast enough. And when the dog bumped into my leg while I was drying my knife and I got jostled & sliced through three fingertips. . .

Plus I have easily cut & bruised skin, keep my knives as sharp as I can, and practice a lot. So all my scars are straight, even lines.

I use a lot of pressure and elevate til I get to the bandaids, then wrap the bandaid tight enough to hurt a little bit. Change it after I finish up what I'm doing.

Diana

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Direct pressure and elevation. The higher you get your hand above your heart, the easier it will be to stop the bleeding. If you are resuming prep, you'll have to bring it down eventually, but elevation will definitely help as part of the first aid procedure.

Good luck, Fern

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If it's really bad and spurting and direct pressure doesn't stop the bleeding after four hours or so, you can do what I did last month and walk up the hill to the emergency room. Where, if you don't have medical insurance, as I didn't, it will only cost you approximately $750.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Don't fool around with butterfly bandages. Wipe the wound and quickly apply paper tape directly on the cut, first sticking down on one side then applying tension to pull the cut closed. Then apply two or three layers at different angles over the first piece in a radial pattern.

THEN put on gloves. I buy the food grade latex (or if you are allergic get the non-latex) gloves that are like surgeons gloves and fit tight enough so the fingers won't catch in things.

( We used the tape in the office when my boss was still doing surgery and we would take the skin sutures or staples out a couple of days following surgery and apply the paper tape directly overe the wound. it allows air circulation but holds things together and speeds healing. As long as it is kept fairly dry it will stay on and as long as it is clean, don't disturb it for at least several hours. The incisions were less like to heal with an obvious scar.)

I wear gloves almost all the time I am working in the kitchen anyway. I often have my hands in something and if the phone rings I can rip the glove off and answer the phone without getting it full of grease, dough, syrup or ??????

They will also stop any shedding of parts of you into the food.

There is a reason they are advocated and in some places absolutely required for food service.

They are inexpensive and save time in the long run.

I began using them when I developed contact dermatitis from washing my hands constantly with antibacterial soap. I still wash my hands but with using gloves I am not doing it every 5 minutes.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If it's really bad and spurting and direct pressure doesn't stop the bleeding after four hours or so, you can do what I did last month and walk up the hill to the emergency room. Where, if you don't have medical insurance, as I didn't, it will only cost you approximately $750.

Cheers,

Squeat

So far only had to make one trip to the emergency room after learning the hard way why mandolines come with the hand protecter -- the nurse who bandaged where the tip of my finger was refered to mandolines as "finger guillotines" :laugh: (I did have insurance.)

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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I thought that most professional chefs consider the hand protector on mandolines "wimpy". Just quoting an old friend of mine who had her own catering business...

I work in advertising. A few years ago, after pulling an all-nighter on a new creative pitch and while cleaning up before leaving at about 8 AM, an account exec comes into the studio and begs me to prepare some presentation boards for a meeting she has in an hour. All I want to do is go home and fall into bed and sleep for two days, so I tell her to go find someone else to comp them. She starts crying that she's going to get fired, etc. so I angrily grab some double black board, a triangle, and an Xacto to cut down the board and swipe down across the left side of my index finger effectively trimming my finger as well as the board about 1/8". Of course, my creative director comes barreling into the studio crying "Don't bleed on the comps. For godsake, don't bleed on the comps" while I'm squirting blood all over the studio. No pity at all! I still have a scar, but when I came in the next morning one of the studio artists asked if I could clean the piece of my finger off the Xacto because they were running short on blades and no one would use the one with my body part still attached.

I've used Xacto blades pretty much daily for 15 years of my life, and that's the only nasty accident I've ever had. But it taught me two things: 1. Don't use sharp objects when you are a bad combination of overtired and pissed off; and 2. If you work with sharp objects daily, it's only a matter of time...

So, when I started taking cooking classes I prioritized knife skills. The chef/instructor remarked that I caught on pretty quickly. So, I told him, "Well, I've always worked in advertising...."

If it's really bad and spurting and direct pressure doesn't stop the bleeding after four hours or so, you can do what I did last month and walk up the hill to the emergency room. Where, if you don't have medical insurance, as I didn't, it will only cost you approximately $750.

Cheers,

Squeat

So far only had to make one trip to the emergency room after learning the hard way why mandolines come with the hand protecter -- the nurse who bandaged where the tip of my finger was refered to mandolines as "finger guillotines" :laugh: (I did have insurance.)

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Mandolines need ,nay, require a kevlar glove. I've worked with razor sharp tools all my life and I cut myself when I rush or don't pay attention. So now I do neither of those

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Any tips from the medicos out there on how to quickly stop finger cuts from bleeding (short of cauterization)?  Every time I slice into a digit it bleeds copiously for too long, interuppting and delaying meal prep inconveniently.  So I'm wondering if there is some trick to quickly staunch the wound and get back to cooking without adding blood to the dish.

If you were smart enough to have saved the liver, simply apply it to your wound.

(What's the matter with you people?)

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he applies a latex finger cot,

My wife found some of those in a chef's coat that just came out of the dryer, and they there were condoms that got shrunk.

I don't know how to stick two quotes in here, but re: the exacto knife reply, she used to work as a graphic designer and had a knife roll off the table and land upright in her thigh. She had to drive herself to the hospital, all the while wondering what to do about the fact that she was not wearing panties that day.

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It is expensive and hard to get if you're not a doctor, but they make this stuff called Gel-Foam. Its a gelatin sponge and sticks to blood (ie wound) like superglue and nearly instantly stops any bleeding. They used it on my finger after I sliced the top off a couple months ago. This stuff sticks until new skin has formed underneath and then flakes off. Slick.

I managed to find a site in the UK that sold this stuff after some googling.

Lonn

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My rule is, I always pay attention to my hands when I am working with a knife or a mandoline. No looking around, at all, ever. If I can't focus, I don't cut. I am usually good at talking while I work, but not while the knife is in my hand.

I love finger cots. They're a godsend. If you don't have them but you do have gloves, you can cut a glove finger out and slide it over the bandaged finger. Tape it shut with a band-aid. Almost as good as the real deal.

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For a very slight cut, like a paper cut or something that bleeds but is not deep, has anyone else ever used stiptic powder? For humans, the most common form is a white stick, used to stop shaving nicks. However, I have veterinary stiptic powder in the house for when I cut the dogs' nails, jic I cut too far down. Well, I had a small cut the other day and I pressed a little of the powder on it, worked like a charm. But I suppose I wouldn't use it while in the process of dinner prep if it were in any area that could contaminate the food (put a glove on over the wound in that case).

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Two words: Super Glue. :shock: Stings, but it seals the cut immediately.

I once nearly cut off the end of my thumb. As the flesh began to turn grey I asked my doctor if I should cut the hanging chunk off, he said super glue it back on and it'll revive itself. So it did! Ever since, I swear by super glue in the first aid kit. It also works really well on my wife's heels when they split due to dry cracking.

EDIT: Don't forget duct tape. Used it to patch up leg wounds in football.

Edited by itch22 (log)

-- Jason

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itch22, you just beat me to the punch about duct tape. I am a bleeder thanks to lovenox injections twice a day, and 10 long years of coumadin usage. So much as my rabbit using my arm for a jumpoff point causes hours of steady bleeding--not gushing, but wipe it, it seeps back non-stop. When I get a cut anymore, I clean it with alcohol, push it together, and duct tape it TIGHT.

If anyone gets a cut requiring emergency room attention, let me recommend you ask them to try silver nitrate if it's not responding to SuperGlue. I am convinced that it would have stopped the Nile from running blood per Charlton Heston in the 10 Commandments.

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