Snowblowers Cause Hundreds of Finger Amputations Each Winter

It's the peak season for snowstorms, and snowblowers are working overtime. But Loyola University Health System hand surgeon Dr. Randy Bindra cautions that snowblowers can cause severe hand injuries, including loss of fingers that can require one or more surgeries and months of rehabilitation. "Every winter, we get three or four cases," he said.

Newer snowblowers have a kill switch that stops the machine if the operator tries to clear snow or debris. But many older models still in use lack this safety feature, Bindra said.

Bindra advises the following:

  • Never put your hand down the chute or around the blades of a snowblower.
  • Use a stick or broom handle to clear impacted snow.
  • Keep all shields in place and keep hands and feet away from moving parts.

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