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#744479 - 04/21/03 12:52 AM removing splinters  
Joined: Jan 2002
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nancyww Offline
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nancyww  Offline
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central oregon
This is a very UNfun part of mothering. It's not much fun for the child, either. frown Is there any way to remove a splinter besides digging it out with a needle and pulling it out with tweezers? I once heard that if you leave a splinter alone, it will eventually work it's way out by itself. My son claims that the splinter in his pinky doesn't hurt...should I just leave it alone and see what happens? confused

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#744480 - 04/21/03 01:49 AM Re: removing splinters  
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Ariel Offline
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NE
nancyww,

In my experience, once that splinter's no longer "fresh" - that is, once it goes underground in the flesh, it's kind of a lost cause other than via the dig and tweeze method, which is often unsuccessful anyhow.

The exception is if it's either very large, or made of something quite hard like a sliver of glass or metal.

If your son is telling you it "doesn't hurt" chances are he's telling you - "not compared to how much that harpoon you're holding up will hurt, anyway!"

And maybe it's best to just listen to him, unless you're SURE you can see the end still poking out and that you can get it. Depends a lot on age too. Is this, by any chance a child who will not be able to practice the piano with that splinter still embedded?

I've lost a lot of maternal credibility by insisting on issues like this and inflicting pain, when I swore I was going to relieve it.

Note - if you soak the afflicted finger (or the kid just sits in a warm bath for a while), it can help ease the pain, soften the skin, and relax the victim in order to remove a hard sliver. A wooden splinter will soften up too, though.

I think this is turning into a "Hints from Heloise", outpost. Maybe a welcome reprieve from some of the weighty topics...


If this is coffee, bring me tea. If this is tea, bring me coffee.
~Abraham Lincoln~
#744481 - 04/21/03 07:37 AM Re: removing splinters  
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DT Offline
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I once ran a 1" splinter of treated lumber through the palm of my hand. After failing to get it out, I visited my doctor. He told me to wait and my body would get rid of it. Eventually (several weeks), I pressed to the side of the sore and the splinter rose from my palm where it was easy to pull it the rest of the way. With smaller ones, I've had good luck with exposing a piece of the splinter and then scraping across it (in the direction to pull it out) with a knife.


Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as heck...
#744482 - 04/21/03 09:59 AM Re: removing splinters  
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Jolly Offline
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I always kep a small supply of hypodermic needles at the house because they are sharper than sewing needles, and they are sterile.

That, and forceps are the way to go, if the splinter is shallow and easily reachable.

I also like to use H2O2 instead of isopropanol for an antiseptic, as it doesn't cause as much discomfort.


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#744483 - 04/21/03 12:23 PM Re: removing splinters  
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kluurs Offline
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I like Jolly's ideas. When I was in high school, I used a regular sewing needle -- didn't sterilize and nearly killed myself with a staph infection. Make sure you use sterile tweezer or whatever when you do the work.

Murray Perahia nearly ended his career from a paper cut!

Ken

#744484 - 04/21/03 12:30 PM Re: removing splinters  
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Phlebas Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Jolly:
I always kep a small supply of hypodermic needles at the house....
Do tell.

#744485 - 04/21/03 12:33 PM Re: removing splinters  
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Phlebas Offline
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New York City
I got a splinter out of my daughter's foot with a needle and tweezers by icing the area to numb it, and pinching the side of her foot to creat a "diversionary" sensation while extracting the splinter.

#744486 - 04/21/03 03:15 PM Re: removing splinters  
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Jolly Offline
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Phlebas,

My medicine cabinet might amaze you.

Or maybe not.

Do tell one question, though, - what occupation is "other"? laugh


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#744487 - 04/21/03 03:42 PM Re: removing splinters  
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apple* Offline
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Kansas
My husband - the carpenter business man regularly asks me to remove splinters from his hand. We have had to structure our lives to get what we get done done and Friday nite is often splinter nite. I have a beer..,.. (just kidding). He soaks his hands in epsom salts before I work on him with sterilized needles and tweezers. I've even slit the skin alongside larger splinters with sterilized razorblades. Now my children,,, I have to trick them to allow me to get a needle anywhere near their hands. (My husband is also a build-aholic and our land is totally full of decks, outbuildings and play centers made of wood); they get alot of splinters.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
#744488 - 04/22/03 01:17 AM Re: removing splinters  
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nancyww Offline
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nancyww  Offline
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central oregon
Good suggestions, thank you all. I hate to inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on the little guy so will wait and see if the sliver takes care of itself.

Ariel, it did seem suspicious the way my son insisted the splinter didn't hurt. Can't blame him tho; last time I spent half an hour with needle and tweezers and finally gave up. frown

Jolly, you are too much...using a hypodermic needle on a splinter?!? laugh OK, so it is sterile but that would surely traumatize the poor kid. Can't you just hear him telling his friends? ....and then Mom got out the eek hypodermic needle eek eek eek

#744489 - 04/22/03 05:02 AM Re: removing splinters  
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johnmoonlight Offline
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One of two things will happen to that splinter if you "let it take care of itself".
Either your body will wall it off and form a protective layer of skin around(a foreign body granuloma) or it will become infected.
If a foreign body granuloma develops, he may not complain now, but wait 6 months to 2 years from now when that stupid lump will not go away and hurts every time he bumps it.
I had a patient come in with a "splinter" in his leg...brushed up against a picnic table. I worked on him for at least 1 hour without success. Finally we sent him to a surgeon who had to remove this 8 inch slab of wood while visualizing it under fluoroscopic x-ray.
Point is: there may be much more there than initially suspected.


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.
#744490 - 04/22/03 01:15 PM Re: removing splinters  
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kenny Offline
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This will probably be no help but I am fortunate to work where we have $10,000 Zeiss microscopes of the perfect magnification for splinter extraction.
They also have halogen fiber optic ringlights for shadowless illumination.

Having a clear bright view and fine Swiss tweezers with a needle-sharp point makes removing most splinters a quick and painless process.
If I get a splinter on Saturday, I'll wait till Monday to "operate" on myself at work.
With the right tools, much less tissue may need to be disturbed.

If I lost my job, I'd certainly look for a supply source for those Excelta tweezers and at least get a good magnifying glass on a stand with a ringlight.

Digging away in normal light with no magnification and a blunt 99 cent dimestore tweezers is a good way to get someone to confess to crimes they did not commt.

#744491 - 04/22/03 02:20 PM Re: removing splinters  
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Jolly Offline
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Quote
Jolly, you are too much...using a hypodermic needle on a splinter?!? [[Big Grin]] OK, so it is sterile but that would surely traumatize the poor kid. Can't you just hear him telling his friends? ....and then Mom got out the [[Eek!]] hypodermic needle [[Eek!]] [[Eek!]] [[Eek!]]
A lot better than a Bard-Parker blade.... wink

On another note...the last time I took my daughter to the ED, the RN tried to start an IV on her, and missed with the Jellco the first time. My daughter stopped her as she was getting out another needle, and asked, "Can my Daddy please do that?".

So I did.


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