On SAGE Insight: Paper shredder machines: A danger to little fingers: A case study

Article title Paper shredder machines: A danger to little fingers. A case of triple finger amputation in a 2-year-old boy

From The Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)

Warning – full article includes graphic images of injuries

This study serves as a warning of the risk to young children in households where paper shredder machines are used. The article examines the case where an emergency referral was made to a tertiary-level hand surgery department of a 2-year-old boy who had trapped his hand in a paper shredder machine at home.  He had significant soft tissue shredding affecting all digits with thumb sparing. He had traumatic amputations through the middle phalanx of his index, middle and ring fingers of his right hand. The level of amputation was confirmed on X-ray. He was previously a fit and active toddler. During assessment in the Emergency Department, he developed physiological compromise with an increasing tachycardia. After fluid resuscitation he was taken to theatre and underwent emergency surgery to prevent further blood loss. One basic recommendation is to position the shredder out of reach of toddlers.  It is believed hand surgeons, paediatricians, the public and industry should be educated about this mechanism of injury. Reporting of this case aimed to increase awareness of this mechanism of injury and the risks posed by paper shredder machines to this young population. This is the first reported case in Europe and a review of the literature identified only a small number of previous cases in the United States. By raising the profile of paper shredder injuries the hope is that similar incidents can be prevented in the future.

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Article details
Paper shredder machines: a danger to little fingers. A case of triple finger amputation in a 2-year-old boy
Laura J Clifton, Clare Langley, Ian McNab
First Published 29 Jun 2018.
DOI: 10.1177/1753193418783928
Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)



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