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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 injury.
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 important to clean the puncture wound well to help prevent infection.
A fishhook can cause other problems if it enters the eye, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or bones. A fishhook injury is more serious when:
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:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
With severe bleeding, any of these may be true:
With moderate bleeding, any of these may be true:
With mild bleeding, any of these may be true:
Symptoms of infection may include:
Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and illness. Some examples in adults are:
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 may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Based on your answers, you need emergency care.
Call911or other emergency services now.
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:
Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
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.
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
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 topicMaking the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineH. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
June 26, 2019
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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