Monday, June 15, 2015

Snow-Blower Danger: Hundreds of Finger Amputations Each Winter Need Not Occur

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- It's the peak season for snowstorms, and snow blowers are working overtime. But Loyola hand surgeon Dr. Randy Bindra cautions that snow blowers can cause severe hand injuries, including loss of fingers that can require one or more surgeries and months of rehabilitation. "Every winter, we get three or four cases," he said. A government safety agency says snow blowers cause hundreds of finger amputations each winter. Newer snow blowers have a kill switch that stops the machine if the operator tries to clear snow or debris. But many older models still in use lack this safety feature, Bindra said. Safety experts advise: • Never put your hand down the chute or around the blades of a snow blower. • Use a stick or broom handle to clear impacted snow. • Keep all shields in place and keep hands and feet away from moving parts. Bindra is a specialist in hand problems, pediatric hand problems and wrist problems. He is director of Loyola's Hand Surgery Fellowship Program and a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.