Your first aid tips for knife cuts?

Joined Aug 23, 2000
So hard to type this with one hand... so I hacked my middle finger of my left hand good, a 1/2-inch flap right next to the nail, thank God I didn't split the nail.

Tied off my finger to halt the blood, disinfected it, put on a bandaid to hold the flap down... went back to chopping veg.

Seems to be healing ok two days later, a bit puffy but not all angry red achy so I don't think it's infected.

What could I have done differently? When do you go for stitches? I thought of posting this thread before the blood stopped, shows you what kind of freak I am.
Joined Sep 25, 2000
OOOHHHCH!! I would have put a plastic glove on after those other steps,but other then that, you'll be all right.

[This message has been edited by Chef David Simpson (edited 02-02-2001).]
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Sounds interesting, Crudeau. What's a thick bee?


Joined Apr 4, 2000
How ironic, I am just recovering from a nasty cut, was so deep I could see the tendons inside... Time for stitches and tetanos.

The most important is to get the cut clean and make sure there are no foreign body inside it. Clean it thoroughly and bandage it up. Polysporin is essential it prevents infection and help you heal faster. It never hurt to get your booster for tetanos if the cut was really deep.


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Joined Oct 5, 2001
I agree with CDS the best is to disenfect, and then put on a little plastic rubber cover.
Joined Jul 31, 2000

I have been pulling foriagn bodys out of my cuts all my career!!But they never stay around long enough for me to say hello.
Ok stupid I know.Wrap it with some paper towel..apply some pressure to the wound,sit down,hold your finger above your heart,drink some OJ...maybe a banana if availible.When it stops under cool water and take a peek at the damage,as sisi said...if you seen tendons or have hit the bone it would be a good idea to hit the ER and have them take a look..and check your file as to when you had your last tetnus booster.(they last 10 years).If it is not that bad,hit it with some Hydrogin peroxcide,a little 3 in 1 oinment pop a kitchen condom on it and get back to work
BTW, my spell check is not working
Joined Jul 18, 2000
yep same as above, wash, disinfect, clean dressing, pressure and hold above head.

If you have completely removed the said offending item, get someone to put whatever into a ziplock bag, that into a ziplock bag and then on ice. After that, prepare for "Microsurgery Frequent Bonus Points".

While on the subject, does anyone do that perculiar little dance when they do cut themselves or is that a aus thing?
Joined Oct 12, 1999
I belive that when we are sometimes preoccupied with something else at the same time we can get sidetracted a little and forget that we are carrying a sharp object in are hands and feel that we are comfortable and maybe tend to get too comfortable at times. And the need to hurry and finish task with in a certain time limit or nervousness and stress when cutting with the knives.

[This message has been edited by layjo (edited 02-02-2001).]
Joined Aug 23, 2000
mofo1: I appreciate your concern. I should have mentioned that the tourniquets remained on long enough to let the clotting set up, about 15-20 minutes. Certainly, more time will eventually damage the tissue through lack of oxygen.

If I could just avoid banging the %$%#@@ thing against stuff it would be quite far along the road to healing by now.
Joined Jul 18, 2000
ok, LTC tournequets are a bit of a no-no. Especially if you end up with a gangrenous extension.

Anneke - accidents happen, sometimes its carelessness, sometimes its fatigue, sometimes lack of training. You cant always prevent all accidents.
Joined Jul 18, 2000
ok, the first thing is: someone comes towards you with a knife and a whole heap of junk in their arms. Yell "stop and dont move" so even the teacher hears. Then admonish them over their stupidity. Why, because if you factor into your explanation that "yes you could of injured me" and then explain that what would happen if that was their hard earned externship etc and the person they could of punctured was the chef.

Im not saying to belittle yourself, but if you put things in the big picture by describing it as such, you will make more of a impact.

In regards to tucking your fingers in, just do it sometimes prep might take you longer but so what. Or take some zip lock sandwhich bags to school.

1 thing especially in this industry to be aware of: Occupational Health and Safety. Not just because it concerns you, but also, it may just earn you extra marks,,,...just like hygiene.

[This message has been edited by Nick.Shu (edited 02-05-2001).]
Joined Jul 18, 2000

The unusual thing is that the way to hold a knife when walking was actually in an American knife manual - could be the printed CIA one.


Joined Nov 24, 2000
It's kinda funny but I go through a cycle of
accidents.First it's the nasty burns on the underside of my forearm then we progress to
footwork;rare but entertaining to those who witness me drop dancing all the way.
I start to worry.Then it happens.Right in the middle of some big deal run on the line
I cut myself like a blood offering to the Chef Gods and I can't for the life of me get things under control.Trip to ER.Bummer.Bummer because I know that untill the cut heals, that part of my body will be called upon to bump hit or bang into anything and everything from start to finish
all day long.Just another day.The cycle hasn't started yet...But I know it's out there...So I guess what I'm trying to say is
I expect to have a boo-boo and unless it's a bad one I just hit the sink,size up the cut and go from there.First aid should never take a back-seat when we deal with potentialy serious infections.It's just not a laughing matter anymore.I'm not a crybaby or anything like that but I think that given recent health concerns a cut is not just a cut untill that cut affects others.sorry to ramble but I'm tired.You did the right thing.

[ 02-08-2001: Message edited by: CWK ]

[ 02-08-2001: Message edited by: CWK ]
Joined Jan 5, 2001
I haven't cut myself in TWO WEEKS!!

Thanks for all your tips! (not the fleshy tips you leave on your boards...!)
Joined Feb 16, 2002
Everytime I cut myself, its always right after a server has asked me a stupid question. I don't know if there is a coorelation or not. I also don't recommend self-cardorizing the wound on the flat top either (one really dumb cook did this where I worked several years back... passed out from hitting his pain threshold). carries the best burn cream and cut cream though. has antibacterial and numbing agents. There hand lotion is great too.
Joined Apr 9, 2005
Something was shown to me when you need a cut to stop bleeding fast. Put white pepper on it and it helps clot the wound. It doesn't seem to infect it but the fact of the matter is, you are putting a foreign substance into a cut. But it does work, I would just use it as a last resort, say you need to plate 50 billion plates and you don't have time to deal with a cut. Slap some good old white pepper on it, a bandage and a finger condom. Always a golve or finger condom. And if you find your bandaid and coming off, use duck tape around the bandaid. It keeps the cut protected and dry. Another use for duck tape.
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Just to be on the safe side of a public forum... ;)

While you may not have experienced any negative results from intentionally putting white pepper directly on a wound, this does not mean it is recommended. Wound clotting will start in any average human being within a few minutes regardless of whether the wound has been disinfected properly or not. Any normal working kitchen should have hydrogen peroxide on hand which is sterile and consistent. Sources of white pepper however, will vary from manufacturers, distributors, containers, etc and there is little to no evidence that it is widely accepted as a blood clotting accelerator. My guess is that it would take essentially the same amount of time for two identical cuts to start clotting - pepper or not. ;)

Please don't short change yourself by using small hands as an excuse. You may feel you can't cut as much quantity per mound but if you use proper techniques (that don't create cuts every two weeks), gain confidence in technique and rhythym, then there is no reason your speed should not increase resulting in being able to cut more than your "male" counterparts.
Joined Jan 5, 2001
Mudbug, thanks for the chuckle. Can you believe I wrote that FOUR years ago? Now I find myself giving the same speach to my own crew - almost thirty strong. A little practise goes a very long way... :chef:
Joined Apr 1, 2005
here's something i learned from my butch husband and his buds who work on engines. it probably isnt real safe, but once in a blue moon probably isnt going to hurt you. i know it works like a charm.
clean the cut, let it bleed good, wrap it, all the good advice above. once it stops oozing squirt some superglue in there-it stings like a s.o.b.-and hold the flap in place with some paper towel or t.p. try not to stick yourself to yourself. :rolleyes: once it seals, carefully peel the towel away from the cut-some might stick to the outside but this will shower away- put on a finger cot and you're back in business. this will hold for the rest of the day unless you give it a really hard whack :eek: -which you try not to do, of course.

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