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Old 19-11-2015, 07:42   #1
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Barnacle Stitches

Well, cut my hand pretty good last night. Barnacle on a mooring line. Kind of bums me out.

Doesn't hurt too bad, hopefully it will not get infected and until it heals will cause me only minor discomfort. The pain and inconvenience are not what bums me out.

What bums me out is that while do my best to learn from other people's mistakes, I don't always succeed and end up learning things the hard way.

In this case I know I had been warned specifically along the way either by someone I know or perhaps from reading here on the CF to be cautious in a way I was not last night.

Please, learn from my mistake.
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Old 19-11-2015, 08:40   #2
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Re: Barnacle Stitches

If your experience is anything like mine (and I have been cut by barnacles, many, many times), it was infected the moment you did it.
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Old 19-11-2015, 09:33   #3
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Re: Barnacle Stitches

Yeah, I know. Just trying to keep a positive outlook. At least I'm not in the middle of the ocean. Worried a lot about this kind of thing happening on our crossing. Always look on the bright side!
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Old 19-11-2015, 09:48   #4
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Re: Barnacle Stitches

An interesting & informative article ➥ Infection from barnacle scratches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Yeah, I know. Just trying to keep a positive outlook. At least I'm not in the middle of the ocean. Worried a lot about this kind of thing happening on our crossing. Always look on the bright side!
As Dave Barry said:
“When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command.
Very often, that individual is crazy. ”


I think the following instructions came from DAN.

CORAL AND BARNACLE CUTS
Cuts and scrapes from sharp-edged coral and barnacles tend to fester and become infected wounds. Treatment for these cuts is as follows:
1. Scrub the cut vigorously with soap and water, and then fl ush the wound with large amounts of water.
2. Flush the wound with a half-strength solution of hydrogen peroxide in water. Rinse again with water.
3. Apply a thin layer of bacitracin or mupirocin ointment, or mupirocin cream, and cover with a dry, sterile, nonadherent dressing.
If no ointment or dressing is available, the wound can be left open. Thereafter, it should be cleaned and redressed twice a day.
If the wound develops a poorly healing pus-laden crust, you can use wet-to-dry dressing changes to remove the upper nonhealing layer to expose healthy, healing tissue. This is done by putting a dry, sterile gauze pad over the wound (without any underlying ointment), soaking the gauze pad with saline or a dilute antiseptic solution (such as 1% to 5% povidone-iodine in disinfected water), allowing the liquid to dry, and then “brutally” ripping the bandage off the wound. The dead and dying tissue adheres to the gauze and is lifted free. The pink (hopefully), slightly bleeding tissue underneath should be healthy and healing.
Dressings are changed once or twice a day. Use wet-to-dry dressings for a few days, or until they become nonadherent. At that point, switch back to the treatment in the above paragraph.
4. If the wound shows signs of infection (extreme redness, pus, swollen lymph glands) within 24 to 48 hours after the injury, start the victim on an antibiotic to oppose Vibrio bacteria (e.g., ciprofl oxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or doxycycline), as well as an antibiotic to oppose Staphylococcus bacteria (e.g., dicloxacillin or cephalexin).
Coral poisoning occurs if coral cuts are extensive or the cuts are from a particularly toxic species. The symptoms include a coral cut that heals poorly or continues to drain pus or cloudy fl uid, swelling around the cut, swollen lymph glands, fever, chills, and fatigue. An antibiotic (see step 4, directly above) should be started, and the victim seen by a physician, who may elect to treat the victim for a week or two with an oral corticosteroid.
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Old 19-11-2015, 10:13   #5
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Re: Barnacle Stitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Yeah, I know. Just trying to keep a positive outlook. At least I'm not in the middle of the ocean. Worried a lot about this kind of thing happening on our crossing. Always look on the bright side!
I am answering this as a Hand Surgeon
Keeping any kind of dressing on in the sailing environment is a nightmare

The advice to let the healing tissues stick to a dressing so you can then rip it off goes against modern teaching for dressings.

Assuming that you irrigated the wound copiously and it is not infected then the best healing is in a moist environment. I would recommend you get some Compeed plasters. ALthough intended for feet, they are great on hands. They are waterproof and really sticky. So they stay on for days and days. They do not let all the moisture out, so the cut heals without forming a dry scab. As a result less scarring. I have used them on foot wounds and waterskied

Keep a compeed plaster on for as many days as possible. Don't worry if the wound is a bit moist and grungy. Unless really red and full of pus, it is not infected.

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Old 19-11-2015, 10:28   #6
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Re: Barnacle Stitches

Cut went all the way through the skin so you could see stuff moving inside. I was grateful in the moment to see I retained full range of motion and no loss of sensation. Things could have been much worse.

Within few moments I was able to open it up and flush with hydrogen peroxide. I was surprised at both how little it bleed and how little it hurt given the severity.

Thank god for kindness of strangers as it would have been a challenge to launch the dink and row to shore but fortunately I was able to hail a neighbor who ferried us to shore where we caught a cab to the ER.

The doctor was concerned that I had been cut in the bay (Chesapeake) and wanted to know when my last tetanus booster was. After giving me a local she washed the cut with a solution I didn't recognize and didn't get name of before stitching me up before sending me home with a prescription for Levofloxacin. Will see how it goes.

Again, could have been much worse and at least we were somewhere we could deal with it quickly.
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:09   #7
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Re: Barnacle Stitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tudorsailor View Post
I am answering this as a Hand Surgeon ...
TudorSailor
Expert professional advice is always welcome. Thanks for contributing!
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