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Thread: I Really got blood in the shop

  1. #1

    I Really got blood in the shop

    I turned 50 years old on the 24th and I guess the powers that be decided to teach me a lesson the I will never forget for my birthday.

    on the 26th I went out early to start ripping up some maple boards on the table saw for a side table that the LOML designed.

    No problems for about an hour, but then I did something stupid. I took my mind off of what I was doing and allowed my left hand to get too close to the blade. I have always used a riving knife with anti-kick back grips and have never had an issue before. Well, needless to say, the table saw grabbed my hand and yanked hard.

    I lost the tip of both my pointer and middle finger from the first knuckle (the one closest to the nail). And there they were sitting on top of my saw looking back at me.

    I grabbed the first aid kit off of the wall and wrapped what was left because the blood loss was starting to really get bad. I then called 911 and they were at the house in under 5 minutes.

    So off to the hospital I go, trying to tell the paramedics about all of the meds I take for my injured back, so they wont put me in cardiac arrest with too much Morphine. Then about half way there, I started to go into shock and the bleeding was really getting bad. My shirt was soaked.

    Then into the Emergency room and I had about 10 people working on me trying to get my hand stabilized. The doctor told me that the medics have my fingers on ice and a hand surgeon was on his way to try and save them. Then the pain hit me like a tidal wave...not from the amputation mind you...but from the doctor. He had to give me a "digit block" by inserting a long needle into each of my fingers front, back and sides. It took seven nurses to hold me down. But the hand was numb.

    My wife arrived and at that point I got upset to the point of crying (tough guy, huh?) But then I realized that it was not from pain, or even the loss of my fingers, but from the hell I was putting my wife through. All I kept doing was apologizing to my wife for doing this to her.

    So off to surgery I go and bottom line is that they could not save the tips. I now have two fingers on my left hand stitched up and looking like something out of a Mary Shelly book. much for the lessons learned.

    *What I did right*

    1. Installed a phone in the shop the week before.
    2. Having a fully stocked Med cabinet in the shop..
    3. Keeping my cool and called 911

    *What I did wrong*

    1. Forgetting what I preach to my kids. I forgot that whatever I was working on deserves my full attention and concentration. I let my mind wander, and I paid for it.

    Finally a word of advice, since all of you have been giving me advice for all of these months.

    Please make sure your med kit is stocked and available.

    Make sure your phone is working in the shop. If you don't have one, install one tomorrow morning before you power up.

    Accidents are going to happen, it is just a question of when. I have the benefit of having been trained as a paramedic in my younger years. Take the time to update your first aid skills.


    I did not....and will pay for it forever. (Although I was back in the shop ripping boards today...I won't let this hold me back. I am doing better and thanks to all for your generous comments.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    WOW Dom, thanks for the reminder.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    North of Reno, NV...middle of the desert
    Wow, Dom. So sorry to hear about this. Glad it wasn't worse. You take care of yourself.

    I'm going to get a phone out in the garage and a first aid kit ASAP. Didn't really think about it, but Brent could get injured and I'd never know it until I randomly went out there.

    Will be thinking about a speedy recovery for you.
    Last edited by Sharon Korn; 11-07-2010 at 11:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Sorry for the accident.

    On the side of humor! That was a detailed story and you did really well for a one hand typing. .

    Hope you are quick to heal.
    Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it
    still sings!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Dom, thank you for reminding us all about paying attention in the shop. I wish you a quick recovery.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    So sorry to hear of the accident and not being able to save the digits. The LOML was standing behind me reading this, going, "Oh no." over and over and over. As she walked out of the room, she turned and said, "You can make a call from the shop, can't you?" I do keep a cordless handset that works fine in the shop, so I was able to confidently say yes. Now, would I have the where-with-all to get to the phone?
    Hope you heal quickly. The worse accident I've had so far was about 18 months ago, 7 stitches in my little finger. About 1/3 of the finger from the tip to the first joint where the cut was still has no feeling. It's my constant reminder to work smart. But, I now will not work with power tools in the shop until sufficient time has passed from my upcoming birthday. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    Dom sorry to here of this. It will take ya quite a while to get used to it. Don't ask how i know.

  8. #8
    Thanks for all the support guys and gals.

    they say that painful lessons are the ones you remember.....and I sure will remember this one.

    I should post a pic of my left hand, but this is Family woodworking and I don't want to offend anyone

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    You often hear these stories but think it will happen to the other guy and not yourself.
    Sorry for your accident Dom but thanks for the wake up call.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gibson View Post
    You often hear these stories but think it will happen to the other guy and not yourself.
    Sorry for your accident Dom but thanks for the wake up call.
    Point taken and thank you, but you are right. it could happen to anyone. Heck I went 35 years with all of my limbs still attached. That is why I made the plea to get the phone,first aid kit, and training done...for everyone.

    As for's all right hand and my left thumb for now. made a mistake and hit the "e" key with one of the bad digits, and I almost went through the roof!

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