This eye-watering image shows what happened when a gardener accidentally impaled his foot on a rake.
The picture was posted on Figure 1, a site where doctors around the world share medical images and canvass their colleagues’ opinions.
The nurse who posted it said: ‘[The rake] somehow missed hitting all the bones.’
‘It’s miraculous there’s no bone injury here, as the foot has 26 of them,’ says Joe Mulligan, head of first aid education at the British Red Cross.
This eye-watering image shows what happened when a gardener accidentally impaled his foot on a rake. Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show rakes are the eighth most common cause of garden injury. The top four, in descending order, were: lawn mowers, lifting or tripping over flower pots, secateurs, and spades
‘This is a prime example of why you should never leave garden implements lying on the ground — always stand them up in the ground, so they are visible.’
He stresses the importance of wearing ‘as sturdy shoes as possible while gardening — not sandals, as this person did — to prevent such a severe injury.’
Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show rakes are the eighth most common cause of garden injury. The top four, in descending order, were: lawn mowers, lifting or tripping over flower pots, secateurs, and spades.
If you impale yourself on a tool, don’t pull it out. ‘While the tool is in your body, it will be stemming a lot of bleeding by blocking blood vessels and arteries it has plunged through. If you remove it, you remove what’s stopping massive blood loss,’ says Joe Mulligan.
At the entry or exit point, apply pressure either side of the object with a clean cloth to stem bleeding — and call 999.
Another danger is tetanus, a serious, but rare, condition that can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms include muscle spasms and stiffness, usually starting in the jaw and neck.
The bacteria that cause tetanus are often found in soil and enter the body through a cut in your skin. So you may need a tetanus jab if your vaccinations aren’t up to date — Public Health England (PHE) says you’re fully immunised if you’ve had five vaccinations. Four are usually given as a child and the last in the teenage years.
However, many people over 50 are likely to be under-immunised. A PHE spokesman said: ‘Tetanus was introduced into the national programme in 1961, so it is likely that older adults won’t have received all five doses,’ suggesting you speak to your GP if you’re concerned you’re not up to date.
‘Individuals who do sustain injuries in the garden should seek advice to determine if the injury is tetanus-prone and if they require a booster dose.’