Oftentimes, preparing to dig yourself out of the snow means using a snowblower. It is important for residents to use caution when operating a snowblower as serious injuries can occur. Experts at the New York Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital stress the importance of avoiding injuries and taking precautions.
Dr. Mayerfield said he sees patients come in every year with injuries from snowblowers. “Due to the improper handling of these machines, patients suffer from fingertip injuries, fractures, lacerations and amputated digits,’’ he said. “When snow becomes clogged in the exit chute of the machine, it causes a jam. The operator will then inspect the blower, and this is when the majority of injuries occur. The operator's hand will come in contact with the rotating blades while using his/her hand to clear the snow.”
Dr. Mayerfield said people should follow these helpful tips:
- Always turn off the machine.
- Give the blades time to stop before attempting any repairs.
- Never place your hands in the exit chute.
- Keep your hands out of the blower and use a stick to clear a clogged chute area.
- Always leave the safety shield in place.
- Do NOT allow children to operate the blower.
Dr. Mayerfield is dedicated to helping patients with their injuries, but expressed concern about the number of snowblower injuries he sees. If you have any hand or wrist issues, whether emergency or routine, contact Dr. Mayerfield at 914-293-8700. If you are in need of hand therapy, call 917-734-3251.
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