Fishing is a widespread leisurely activity that rarely results in an emergency. However, trauma from a fishhook piercing the skin is 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
- Start antibiotics immediately.
When to Seek Medical Care
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.
Synonyms and Keywords
fishhook removal, hook removal, fishing injury, fishhook wound, fishhook puncture, fishhook piercing, fish hook removal
Author and Editor
Author: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Charles P. Davis, MD, PhD
REFERENCE: AAFP.org. Fishhook Removal.
Previous contributing editors: Ivette Motola, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; James Kimo Takayesu, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/24/2013
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM