Public warned over freakish bank holiday injuries

Thursday, 24th May 2018, 8:54 am
Updated Thursday, 24th May 2018, 4:21 pm

With hot weather set to coincide with the upcoming bank holiday doctors have warned of the increased threat of freakish domestic accidents.

Trauma surgeons report seeing a spike in nasty injuries at the start of summer as people use the extra time and sunny weather to fix up their homes and gardens, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) said.

Severed fingers and broken bones

Professor Vivien Lees, a hand and plastic surgeon working in Manchester, said: "Over the past 20 years of working in the NHS, I have treated patients who have suffered some very serious injuries - from severed fingers and broken bones to painful infections.

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"Some of my patients have been unable to work after having an accident while making home improvements or gardening."

There have been more than 25,700 hospital admissions for gardening and DIY-related accidents in the past three years, the RCS said.

The chances of serious infection can be reduced by wearing gardening gloves (Photo: Shutterstock)

Professor Lees said ladders, electric saws and hedge trimmers pose particular risks, while DIY gardeners should be wary of fixing machinery which is still plugged in or turned on.

Gardeners should also be aware of the risk of infections posed by untreated scratches, she added.

'Only use power tools when you are fully concentrating'

Helen Langford, of Tameside, Manchester, spoke from experience saying she "wouldn't want anyone to have to go through what I went through" after severing four fingers on her right hand.

The 56-year-old was trying to make a side table with an electric saw before it slipped as she cut timber in her garage last year.

Ms Langford had both her middle finger and part of her ring finger amputated, and can no longer pursue her main interests of playing the piano, painting, and making sculptures.

She said: "My recovery has been a very difficult, hard slog and I am still receiving trauma counselling.

"Only use power tools when you are fully concentrating and not tired, for example.

"Also, make sure someone knows where you are while you are using them. Without the help of my neighbours, this accident could have had an even more tragic ending."