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Nothing ruins a Thanksgiving faster than a severe injury. Yet, every year people are rushed to emergency rooms for carving and frying accidents associated with the holiday. Keep your Thanksgiving Day feast a little safer with these tips.
Use caution when cooking your bird.
Turkey fryers have become commonplace in many households as a “quick and easy” way to cook a whole turkey. Unfortunately, the process also has caused many serious injuries. Here are a few reminders to help you stay injury-free while deep frying your turkey this year
- Read or review your deep fryer’s instruction manual to ensure proper use.
- Set the fryer on a firm, flat, fire-proof surface away from flammable buildings or materials.
- Wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from hot-oil burns.
- Invest in heat-resistant gloves, goggles and aprons for each cook.
- Only deep-fry turkeys that weigh less than 14 pounds.
- Remove all giblets from the bird.
- NEVER deep fry a frozen or stuffed turkey.
- Don’t overfill your pot with oil. The oil should be an inch above the turkey and three (3) to five (5) inches below the pot’s rim. (Each time you cook a turkey, find the proper oil level before cooking. Place the turkey in the empty pot and add water until it rises one inch above the bird. Remove the turkey and mark the water line. This line becomes the fill line for your oil. Pour out the water and dry the pot thoroughly. Remember, oil and water do not mix.)
- Keep your propane tank as far away from the burner as possible. Light the burner and bring your oil to temperature. Never leave your oil/burner unattended.
- Pat your turkey dry with paper towels before lowering the turkey into the hot oil.
- TURN OFF THE BURNER when the oil reaches 350 degrees and SLOWLY lower your turkey into the pot using the rod or hook that came with your fryer. Do not “drop” the turkey into the hot oil.
- Turn the burner back on, bring the oil back to temperature and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey. When the turkey reaches an internal temperature 165 degrees, carefully remove the turkey from the fryer.
- For added safety, have a fire extinguisher near the fryer.
Get a handle on safe turkey carving technique.
After your bird is cooked and the meat has rested, it’s time to slice and dice it for the serving platter.
To begin carving, place the turkey on a solid surface. (The turkey breast should be facing upward and the legs should be pointing away from you.) Many people find covering a cutting board with a towel holds the turkey in place and makes carving easier.
According to the American Society of Hand Surgeons, there are some basic rules to remember as you prepare to carve your turkey.
Choose the right utensils. An electric knife is best for slicing through a roasted turkey, but if one if not available, use a 7-inch or 9-inch carving knife. Make sure your knife is sharp before you begin. Consider using kitchen shears for hard to cut areas.
Carve with a hand towel nearby. As you carve the turkey, you’ll release juices, which can make the knife handle slippery. Use a towel or paper towel to keep the handle dry and your grip firm.
Cut and carve away from your body. If the blade faces away from you, you’re less likely to slice your skin. As you cut, be aware of the position of your supporting hand. Turkey carving instructions suggest you remove the legs and thighs first, then the wings, and finally, the breasts.
Turkey carving is not the only reason holiday hand injuries send people to the hospital.
After-dinner-clean-up also poses a hand-injury risk.
Thanksgiving often overloads the dishwasher or brings out the best china. Many of the serving dishes, plates, glassware and cups need to be washed by hand.
Use care when handwashing glassware. Hot soapy water can make glassware slippery. Dropping Gramma’s prized dinnerware in the sink increases your risk of cuts. Broken glass concealed by sudsy water can cause deep gashes or sever nerves and tendons. Take care if you are part of the dish crew.
What do you do if a hand injury occurs?
If you or a family member does experience a laceration during your Thanksgiving Day celebration, apply the basic principles of first-aid.
If your cut is minor:
- Apply pressure to stop the bleeding
- Wash the cut with warm, soapy water
- Apply a bandage
- Call and book a follow up with a hand surgeon to make sure everything is ok.
Go to the emergency room or Walk-In Care clinic if:
- You cannot stop the bleeding after applying pressure for 10 to 15 minutes
- The cut is more than 1/4-inch deep, or you can see the bone
- The wound affects a joint
- Part of your finger was cut off
- You feel tingling or numbness immediately or within the first 72 hours
- You notice redness around the wound or discharge coming from the wound
According to Loredo Hand Care Institute’s hand surgeon, Pedro Loredo, MD, even minor injuries have the potential to interrupt the hand’s complex movement. If you experience any decrease in hand function, you should be examined and treated as soon as possible to minimize the impact of the injury and preserve your future range of motion.
If you experience a non-life-threatening injury that causes pain, numbness or interferes with your ability to move your wrist or hand, call Loredo Hand Care Institute at (972)939-4974 to be seen by our board certified hand specialist.
What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Dupuytren’s Contracture is a condition which causes a thickening of the fascia (the connective tissue) in the palm of the hand just below the skin. Nodules and cords of thickened connective tissue form and can eventually begin to pull the fingers in toward the palm, in severe cases preventing full extension of the fingers. Dupuytren’s Contracture most commonly affects the tissue connected to the ring and little fingers, but can move across the palm to affect the whole hand. This condition is most prevalent in males over the age of 40 of Northern European and Scandinavian descent, but anyone can be affected.
What Are the Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture include the following:
- Curling in of the fingers toward the palm of the hand (most commonly the ring and little fingers)
- Growth of nodules within the connective tissue in the palm of the hand
- Lack of ability to grip and muscle weakness in the hand
- Pain, aching and/or itching in the affected areas
Considering treatment with XIAFLEX® a nonsurgical option for dupuytrens contracture? The following step-by-step guide can help you get a better grasp on treatment with XIAFLEX®. You can also visit the XIAFLEX website at https://dupuytrens-contracture.xiaflex.com.
Step 1: Injecting XIAFLEX®
Treating Dupuytren’s contracture with XIAFLEX® is performed in your doctor’s office. Your doctor will:
- Inject XIAFLEX® directly into the cord that is causing your finger(s) to bend
- * If you have more than 1 contracture, your doctor may give you 2 injections in 1 of your hands during your visit
- Wrap your treated hand with bandages
- Advise you to keep your hand elevated until bedtime
- Advise you to limit the movement of your treated finger(s)
Do not bend or straighten the treated finger(s) yourself.
Step 2: Extending your finger(s)
Your first follow-up visit with your doctor will be approximately 1 to 3 days later.
- Your doctor will try to extend the treated finger(s) and “break” the cord. This is to help straighten your finger(s). Your doctor may use local anesthetic during this procedure to make it more comfortable
After the extension procedure, your doctor:
- Will give you a splint to wear on your treated finger(s) at bedtime for about 4 months
- Will provide simple finger exercises for you to do daily
Step 3: Checking your progress
- Return to your doctor about 30 days later to have your finger(s) examined
- Depending on your results, or if the cord(s) is still present, you may need additional injections, approximately 4 weeks apart
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with Dupuytren’s Contracture or would like to learn more about it or the different treatment options please call today. Loredo Hand Care Institute, Dr. Pedro Loredo (972)939-4974 or visit our website at www.loredohands.com
Spider webs were used as bandages in ancient times.
Did you know spider webs serve another purpose other than being the home of your friendly, neighborhood spider? Spider webs make for an excellent natural treatment for healing cuts and scrapes! In ancient Greece and Rome, doctors used spider webs to make bandages for their patients. Spider webs supposedly have natural antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, which can help keep wounds clean and prevent infection. It’s also said that spider webs are rich in vitamin K, which helps promote clotting.
Spider webs are incredibly strong. It’s made from silk produced from the body proteins of the spider, turning it into silk through spinnerets. The spinnerets are located on a spider’s abdomen. Each spider has three or four spinnerets. Inside the spinnerets are numerous spigots connected to a single silk gland. The spider silk starts out in liquid form. As the material is being drawn out of the spider’s body, it begins to harden. This movement changes the structural components of the silk.
Using cobwebs or spider webs has been done since ancient times when Greeks and Romans treated wounded soldiers with it to stop bleeding. Soldiers would also use a combination of honey and vinegar to clean deep wounds and then cover the whole thing with balled-up spider webs.
An open wound treated with a cluster of spider webs will dry out faster. Spider webs have antifungal and antiseptic properties that keep bacteria away, minimizing the chances of an infection. As long as the web is clean, it will not cause any infection or aggravate the wound’s condition at all.
t’s easy to make your own bandage. First, you have to look for a clean spider web — you want a freshly spun web or one that does not have insect corpse in there. If the spider’s in there, remove the little critter carefully and harvest the web.
Then, ball up the spider web and stuff it onto the wound. Make sure all edges are covered by the web. The web has to touch the surface of the wound. Get a sterile cloth and cover the wound with it. This helps secure the web on the wound while also protecting the affected area from the elements. And there you have it, your own bandage made from spider web.
If the spider web has hardened on your wound and it’s hard to remove, just run your wound over warm water. The water will loosen the web, making it easier to remove.