Electricity and fishing - A dangerous mix

Department of Plastic Surgery and Burn Unit, Emergency District Hospital, Cluj Napoca, Romania.
Burns: journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries (Impact Factor: 1.88). 12/2010; 37(3):495-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.burns.2010.09.010
Source: PubMed


The advent of fishing rods made of carbon fiber and graphite rods has greatly increased the risks of electrical injuries associated with fishing. The braided fishing lines and metal hooks put the fishermen at risk for electrical injuries.
We review our burn center's experience with electrical injuries related to fishing activities during the last four years.
We retrospectively collected data on patients with electrical burns related to fishing activities between January 2006, when our burns unit was established, and December 2009. Eight patients with electrical burns were admitted during this period of time, five who sustained the injury while fishing, due to contact of the fishing rod with overhead high-voltage cables and three who were injured during illegal fishing, using electricity to stun the fish.
The total burn surface area ranged from 0.5% to 70%. Three of the patients sustained fourth degree burns, while the rest had second and third degree burns. One patient underwent scapulohumeral disarticulation and an above-knee amputation. Two patients had fingers and toes amputated. Latissimus dorsi and anterolateral thigh flaps were used to cover the defects in two cases. Local flaps were employed in other two cases to cover the tissue defects. Two patients died.
Fishing-related burns and illegal fishing can lead to serious injuries and death.

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