Reporting Carol D’Auria
NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — In addition to slippery roads and sidewalks, snow removal can be very dangerous — especially following a blizzard.
The Long Island Plastic surgical group has handled 16 injuries to limbs from snow blowers, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
And most of the patients have been treated a several hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Most of the accidents occur when someone sticks their hands in the chute where the snow comes out, according to doctors.
In face, they said the accidents can occur even when the snow blower is turned off and the machine is unplugged. This usually happens when the snow blower gets jammed and a person sticks their hand in the chute to dislodge the snow. Even with the power off, a snow blower stores torque, and when the snow blower is unjammed, the blade in the chute moves and causes an injury.
Mario Gianfrancesceo, 34, of Mineola had two fingers partially cut off when he touched the chute while wearing a heavy- duty. The snowblower sucked in the glove and his fingers, D’Auria reported. Gianfrancesceo managed to pull his hand and glove out, but when he looked at his mangled fingers, he told D’Auria it reminded him of “Bolognese sauce with the chopped meat.”
Both fingers were reattached at Winthrop University Medical Center, and doctors say he will be able to use the hand in one month and that they expect him to regain full use of the fingers in about three months.
For those of you using a snowblower, here is some doctor’s advice:
Always wear protective eye gear and never stick your hands or feet in a snowblower to unjam it — even with the power off! When you dislodge the snow, the blades will move. Use a piece of wood or pipe to dislodge snow.
If your fingers or feet get cut off, put the severed limb in a plastic bag and put the plastic bag in another plastic bag with ice. Don’t put the severed digit directly on the ice!