Dr. Anthony Fauci has already warned against large gatherings ahead of the Super Bowl this year due to coronavirus, which means you may find yourself in charge of guacamole this year. If that’s the case, one expert has some tips to help you avoid spending time in the emergency room due to the so-called “avocado hand” injury.
For starters, being cognizant of how you hold the knife is a way to avoid any dangerous slips or cuts, Dr. Gregory Kolovich, an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in hand and microsurgery, told Fox News.
“For the best grip, hold the knife mainly with your thumb and index finger and wrap your fingers comfortably around the handle,” Kolovich advised. “Make sure your other fingers are never under the blade by tucking your fingertips under your knuckles. Never use abrupt or forceful hand movements when using a knife – slow and controlled hand movements help to minimize the risk of injury.”
Kolovich said that while there is “no right way” to prepare an avocado, a safer method would be to cut it in half lengthwise around the seed with it flat on the cutting board, and then rotate it and cut again creating quarter segments which allow for easy seed removal.
Even a cut that seems insignificant could lead to a bacterial infection.
Beyond cutting avocados, slicing any food could end up in an unfortunate injury. Kolovich said that foods that are wet and slippery, like dicing a tomato, “are especially troublesome,” and easily allow “for a knife to slip and land in the wrong place.”
One patient Kolovich treated was cutting raw meat when the knife “completely sliced through the palm of their hand and severely injured their fingers.” Attending to the wound quickly also proves vital in these situations, as Kolovich warned that he has seen “relatively insignificant cooking lacerations” end up in serious infections due to bacterial contamination.
“If you suffer a kitchen knife injury, such as ‘avocado hand,’ you should seek prompt and professional help,” he said. “Timing is everything for proper diagnosis and treatment of an injury. Most patients rush to the emergency room to have their hand or finger stitched up, but sometimes, stopping the bleeding may not be enough.”
Kolovich said depending on the depth of the cut there may be damage to nerves that could lead to longer term impact.
“If numbness persists after the wound was healed and/or if continued pain develops at the injury site, y you should consider visiting a nerve specialist for an evaluation,” he said. “And the sooner the better.”
Kolovich said one of the methods of treatment could include using a human nerve allograft, which would allow for the nerve to regenerate.
“If something doesn’t seem right after an injury, your intuition is probably spot on,” he said. “If the wound has healed and you are experiencing unexpected numbness or pain near the injury site, you should seek help from a nerve specialist as soon as possible. The sooner a potential nerve injury is addressed, the better the chances are for your full recovery.”