Fishing is a widespread leisurely activity that rarely results in an emergency. However, trauma from a fishhook piercing the skin is fairly common. Use the following guidelines to remove a fishhook:
- Use pliers or forceps to push the hook gently through the skin, following the curve of the hook.
- Cut off the barb so that the unbarbed portion of the fishhook can be backed out.
- Do not close the wound.
- Follow wound care guidelines, especially checking on tetanus vaccine status.
- Start antibiotics immediately.
When to Seek Medical Care for a Fishhook Injury
A fishhook wound can lead to a serious infection, so be certain to consult a doctor about available medications for the treatment of fishhook wounds. People who experience a fishhook puncture should be immunized for tetanus if more than 5 years have passed since their last inoculation.
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine
REFERENCE: AAFP.org. Fishhook Removal.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2016
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM