WASHINGTON TWP., Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Local health officials are urging caution with snow blowers after there were eight surgeries, half of which led to amputations over the weekend.
According to a spokesperson for Kettering Health Network, the cases were all treated at Southview Medical Center in Washington Township.
"Four people left with amputations, most just fingertips," Dr. Adam Dann said, "but the biggest problem with these type of injuries is they are so mutilating they can't be salvaged or replanted."
Experts said most of the incidents happen after a snow blower gets jammed and people put their hand in the blade area to fix it without thinking of the repercussions.
The store manager at Handyman Ace Hardware in Miamisburg said people have been coming into the store this weekend to purchase salt, sleds and snow blowers.
When purchasing the machinery specifically, he said it’s important to read the directions.
"One thing they should do if there's any clogging of snow blowers is disengage the spark plug and do the work then do the work at that point,” Shawn Pendergrass said.
Many of the models come with a stick to unclog snow and your hands should never go near the blades. If you do have a mishap, there are some things you can do to try and salvage your finger.
"If you can find the part, wrap it in a moist cloth, don’t submerge it in a bag of ice, but get a Ziplock bag full of ice and put the part on top of the ice,” Dr. Dann said.
Along with snow blower injuries the medical center said throughout their hospitals, they’ve seen an increase in falls and crashes because of the weather.