Fish Hook Removal in the Emergency Department



  1. 1) Pull Through Technique

- Grasp shaft of hook with needle driver

- Advance fish hook until the barbed end of hook protrudes through skin

- Clamp a hemostat over the barb and cut the belly of the fishhook proximal to the barbed end with a wire cutter

- Withdrawal fishhook from skin along its original direction of entry



2) String Yank Technique

- Wrap string/suture around belly of fishhook at site it enters skin

- Firmly depress the shaft of hook against skin and firmly pull the string/suture in opposite direction


3) Cut it Out

- only if other methods fail

- make incision with scalpel along the shaft of the hook to the barb


 Additional Notes:

- Globe perforation or laceration requires emergent consult with ophthalmologist

- Prior to procedure remember to clean and anesthetize area

- Always wear eye protection when attempting removal

- Do not forget about tetanus prophylaxis

- Antibiotic prophylaxis remains controversial