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Fish hooks Removal (Fish Hook)

  • Medical Author: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Fishhook Removal

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.

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Reviewed on 11/20/2017
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine

REFERENCE: AAFP.org. Fishhook Removal.