What’s Going Around: lake injuries

A local physician is cautioning those out on the lake, injured with a fishing hook, to avoid taking it out themselves, instead seeking medical attention.
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 8:14 AM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Heading out on the water, trying to reel something in is a great way to unwind in the beautiful Ozarks. It’s also a hobby that can be painful at times.

“So a lot of hook injuries, a lot of propeller injuries and taking the time out to make sure that those safety measures are complete,” said Rose Johnson, a nurse practitioner for CoxHealth in Branson.

Johnson said injuries out on the lake are common and there are steps that need to be taken immediately.

“So the first thing they need to do is cut the line so that they’re leaving that hook there,” said Johnson. “Cut the fish line and just leave that hook there, don’t mess with it, don’t try to cover it and get in to be seen.”

Johnson said as tempting as it may be do deal with it yourself, she said you need to see a medical professional.

“Don’t clip off those hooks, those hooks have barbs in them and so it does a lot of skin damage to try to rip them out of your skin,” said Johnson. “There’s a special technique that we use to get those barbed fish hooks out of people’s skin.”

Johnson also said there’s a very important reason to seek care immediately.

“The longer that contaminated fish hook stays in the skin, the more bacteria is going to penetrate inside the skin,” said Johnson. “That’s what sets us up for infection, specifically if it’s bacteria from lake water, that’s a completely different type of bacteria regimen than if you just get cut.”

In other parts of the Ozarks, at CMH in Bolivar, their physicians are seeing decreasing cases of upper respiratory illnesses and strep throat. In their emergency departments, they’re seeing abdominal pain, falls, and chest pain.

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