Carving the Turkey

November 20, 2017

Time to Carve the Turkey!

One of my favorite times of year is Thanksgiving. With everyone’s busy schedules, it is always nice to gather in the kitchen with my family and everyone contribute to the delicious turkey dinner.  Turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole... Oh, and the pie! I could go on and on about of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, but I’m getting a little hungry just writing about them.

When it comes time to cut the turkey and everyone is gathered around it can be an exciting time. In the excitement and smells of the tasty dishes it can be easy for the one in charge of carving the turkey to get side tracked.  Believe it or not, every year injuries occur while carving a turkey. Did you know that cuts from carving a turkey are one of the top five most common injuries to occur on Thanksgiving? Many of these injuries can be avoided by observing the following safety tips.

  • Never cut toward yourself with a knife.
  • Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat. Instead, place your free hand opposite to the side you are carving.
  • Keep knife handles and cutting areas dry to avoid slips.
  • Use a sharp knife. This will keep you from having to use too much force when cutting and losing control of the knife. An electric knife is an even better choice.
  • Use kitchen shears to cut bones when necessary.

In the event of a turkey-carving accident, you should seek professional medical attention if any of the following are applicable to your situation.

1. You are unable to stop bleeding after applying pressure to the cut or wound for 15 minutes.

2. You can’t remember when you had your last tetanus shot.

3. If soap and water are not able to thoroughly clean the cut or wound.

If after experiencing a hand cut or wound you are noticing any of the issues listed below regarding your hands or fingers, I would recommend you seek consultation with a hand surgeon. (We have four of them to choose from!)

1. You have persistent numbness or tingling in the injured finger or area.

2. You have difficulty moving or bending your fingers.

(Information courtesy of ASSH)

Jennifer Durham M. Ed., OTR/L, CHT

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