“Foreign body–fishhook.” We commonly see these injuries in our emergency departments and think, “This could be a real pain to remove from wherever it may be.” Sometimes we need a simpler method, or even a MacGyver-like alternative to make our jobs easier, so our days spent in the trenches are more like our days wetting a line.
A 35-year-old, right-hand dominant, previously healthy male presents with a fishhook lodged in his right first digit. The injury occurred that morning, the opening day of trout season. His buddy tried meticulously to dislodge the hook to no avail. The patient now presents with finger pain and an inverted smile, and he is anxious to get back to that game of cat and mouse with an elusive nine-pounder that’ll win him a $250 gift card for the local tackle shop.
Most fishhooks become embedded in either the hand or face. Unfortunately, some fishhooks will find their way into people’s eyes or even intracranially, as described in a case report in 1992.1,2 Obviously, ophthalmology will need to be consulted for ocular fishhook injuries, but the remaining majority of these occurrences can be dealt with in the emergency department.