This article discusses how to remove a fishhook that is stuck in the skin.
If the barb of the hook has not entered the skin, pull the tip of the hook out in the opposite direction it went in. Otherwise, you can use one of the following methods for removal of a hook that is superficially (not deeply) embedded just beneath the skin:
Fish line method:
Wire cutting method:
Do not use these methods or otherwise attempt to remove a fishhook that is deeply embedded in the skin, lodged within a joint or tendon, or located in or near an eye or artery. If you are at all unsure, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
A fishhook in the eye is a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate emergency medical care. The area should be shielded or otherwise secured to avoid further movement. The injured person should lie down with the head slightly raised. The eye should not be moved until medical care is obtained.
Seek immediate medical help if the fishhook is in the eye or located near an artery.
The main advantage to getting medical help for other fishhook injuries is that the fishhook can be removed under local anesthesia. That means the part of your body that is hurt is numbed with medicine before the fishhook is removed.
Call your doctor if:
Fishhook removal from skin
Otten EJ, Mohler DG. Hunting and Other Weapons Injuries. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 22.
Stone, DB, Levine, DB. Foreign Body Removal. In: Roberts JR,Hedges JR eds. Roberts: Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Saunders Elsevier; 2009: chap 36.
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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