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Fishhook Injuries

Call 911 if a fishook is:

  • Embedded in the person’s eye or face
  • Deeply embedded in the skin

For a Fishhook in or Near Eye:

1. Protect Eye From Further Injury

  • Do not try to remove fishhook or put pressure on eye.
  • Call for emergency medical help.
  • Place a paper cup over the eye and tape it in place. Be careful not to put pressure on the fishhook or eye. 
  • If possible, cover the uninjured eye, too.

For Fishhook Injuries Not on Face:

1. Remove Hook

  • If only tip -- not the barb -- is in skin, gently pull out hook.
  • If barb is stuck but you can see it, cut off barb with pliers and pull out ends.
  • If barb is stuck and you can't see it, push hook through wound until barb emerges, then cut and remove barb and shaft.

2. Stop Bleeding

  • Apply steady pressure with sterile gauze or clean cloth until bleeding stops.

3. Clean and Protect

  • Rinse wound under clean water for several minutes. Then wash area with mild soap and water, and rinse again.
  • Cover with sterile bandage.

4. Get Medical Help Immediately

  • See a doctor or go to a hospital emergency room.
  • The person may need a tetanus shot and pain reliever.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on December 05, 2013

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