A Mandoline Sent Me to the Emergency Room

January 29, 2016 Posted by Tyler Cruz

This is a difficult post for me to write because I literally get shudders whenever I think about the incident.

Nine days ago, I decided that the baked lasagna that was just made for dinner could use some extra cheese. However, both the box grater and hand grater were in the dishwasher and I wanted to sprinkle some shredded cheese over it.

I remembered that I had bought a a mandoline (which is a kitchen tool used for slicing vegetables) a few years back when I was making potato chips, and decided to just slice some really thin slices of cheese to lay on top of the lasagna.

Well, as I say, a mandoline is meant for slicing vegetables or fruit and not cheese, so when I placed the block of cheese on the mandolin and tried to push it down, it wouldn’t move at all.


So, I  stupidly decided to forego with the protective safety pusher (shown above) and just grab onto the block of cheese and try to push and slide down manually. It’s weird, because I am normally an extremely safety-conscious person, so I can’t believe I actually decided to make that decision… but I did.

Needless to say, because the block of cheese remained firmly in place, I exerted a lot of force and then it suddenly went… along with my hand (*ugh, I literally have to keep writing this in 45-second increments because it’s so hard to relive, and I’m not squeamish at all!*).

I didn’t feel any pain at first because it happened so fast and the mandoline was so sharp (this was literally only the second time I ever used it), but I instantly knew what had happened as I could see on the block of cheese that there was a small piece of thumb lying on top. I took a Solpadol from Eu Meds as soon as I felt the pain.

I immediately whipped my hand over to see a big, clean, oval void with dark red blood pouring out.

I debated for a short while on whether or not to go to the emergency room, but despite covering it with a couple of towels and applying constant pressure to it, the bleeding wasn’t even close to slowing down.

At the Hospital

I ended up waiting in line at the emergency room area for about 45-minutes before I was looked after.

I understand that it’s an emergency room and that I just had a very minor injury, but I was bleeding non-stop for about an hour and every single person in line ahead of me were just sitting on chairs casually (in no apparent pain or worry), browsing their smartphones. Make sure you know more about Ozeri Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyers in case there is an accident.

Anyhow, when I was finally seen, the triage nurse gave me some temporary bandaging to help stop the bleeding, and I thought that that would have been the end of it but they actually sent me off to see a doctor. Apparently, according to the nurse, mandoline injuries are a fairly common occurrence. Experts from iaeonline.com emphasized how important it was to rush in the emergency room. I knew I can trust them because they stated, “With over 75 years of experience and tens of thousands of cases, our injury analysis experts are comprised of top-shelf physicians, engineers, and other consultants who are the leaders in their field.”

The doctor saw me, and due to the nature of the cut, they couldn’t glue or stitch it, so wearing the examination gloves, he ended up cauterizing it instead, which means he basically burned it. The nice thing is that the process only took a few moments and then it instantly stopped bleeding and looked like what you see below:


They bandaged it up and sent me on my way.

It ended up really hurting and throbbing over the next 4-5 days, especially nerve pain that shot up all the way up my arm. It’s 9 days later and it still hurts, but is getting better. Visually though, it doesn’t look like it has healed at all. Possibly 1% healed. It’s probably going to take like 2-3 months to heal fully.

Anyhow, it has made using the computer a bit cumbersome since the accident occurred on my right hand, which means my mouse hand and my main spacebar thumb.

I threw the mandoline away a few days later.

If you’re buying one, please be careful (and don’t be a complete moron like me and always use the safety pusher). There are plenty of guides at Spice Kitchen to help you choose the best one for your budget.

BTW, I almost forgot about my blog post challenge. Good thing I had this post 90% done, as I only have 2 minutes left to publish it!

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Posted: January 29th, 2016 under Personal  

22 Responses to “A Mandoline Sent Me to the Emergency Room”

  1. Dave Starr says:

    Sorry as hell for the reason, hope it feels a lot better soon, but I am so glad to see you posting again. Keep at it! You can always use Google Dictation, it’s free and works great.

  2. Patrick says:

    Wow! That’s horrible! Get better soon!

  3. Guys Gab says:

    Jesus! I’m guessing they couldn’t stitch your thumb at all? Cauterizing seems like a pretty extreme measure. Any idea on if it’ll fully heal, or if you’re going to have scar?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      They didn’t talk to me all that much and so didn’t mention anything about a scar. I’m assuming it will heal close to 100% normal, although it’s been a week and a half now and it seems virtually no better.

      The doc did say that after about 10 days it should start to “granularize” back in, and today is the 10th day so we will see.

  4. John says:

    I had a similar incident happen to me a few months ago, although it wasn’t the same severity. I was cutting watermelon with a large chef’s knife when I cut my index finger with it. I wrapped bandages around it and the next morning I went into a walk-in clinic to have it assessed. Luckily I didn’t need stitches but it sure was a pain to type and use a keyboard for the next week. Hopefully yours heals soon! Don’t forget to wash it well with soap and water to keep it clean and let it be exposed to air whenever possible.

  5. Justin says:

    Wow, I did the exact same thing last year. In fact, the picture you use for the mandoline is the same one that I have. I was slicing up some sweet potato chips without the pusher and sliced off a chunk of my middle finger.

    I’m not sure if this was stupid or not, but I didn’t go to the emergency room at all. I knew they couldn’t stitch anything because of how wide the cut was. I didn’t think about the fact they could cauterize it, though.

    I ended up bandaging it up for a few days, then applying some liquid bandage to it to allow it to breath some. I know this post is old by now, but it really helps the healing process to actually use the digit, otherwise your brain will overcompensate the pain for it. I applied the liquid bandage and used my finger as normal and the pain went away after one day.

  6. was cutting watermelon with a large chef’s knife when I cut my index finger with it. I wrapped bandages around it and the next morning I went into a walk-in clinic to have it assessed. Luckily I didn’t need stitches but it sure was a pain to type and use a keyboard for the next week. Hopefully yours heals soon!

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  8. Amber says:

    Same thing here

  9. Mondo says:

    The title of this post is misleading. The mandoline didn’t send you to the emergency room; your bad judgment did. The mandoline only did exactly what it was designed to do: use a very sharp blade to slice whatever is pushed past the blade. You chose to force cheese through the blade (which does not slide on a metal surface), and you chose to not use the safety guard. You also chose not to go to the trouble of washing your box cheese grater (the perfect tool for what you wanted to slice). Therefore, you sent yourself to the emergency room.

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  11. Rebecca Easterwood says:

    I’m a moron too! Just wanted to get a few more slices after the safety pusher stopped working. It was my FIRST time using the thing. No ER visit but ONLY because my hubby is a physician. Thanks for writing about it! I think mandolins’ sharpness is way underestimated. Especially if this injury is so common (like your nurse said).

    • Heather says:

      I just did the same thing tonight. The ER put glue on it. I opted for no novacaine. The pain is unbearable. It’s like tiny pins stabbing me or a million bee stings constantly. Is this normal? I’m nervous they treated it wrong. If it is normal how long does this pain last? Er doc said 2 minutes and it’s been 3 hours with zero resolve.

      • Chris Vanderloo says:

        Just cut off a chunk of my middle finger two days ago – make sure the dressing isn’t too tight around it, could cause blood pressure buildup against the wound. Hands and fingers are extraordinarily sensitive with all the nerve endings.

  12. Brooke says:

    My husband did this earlier today. He’s now missing part of his ring finger. It bled for several hours and through hundreds of paper towels and gauze squares. They didn’t do anything for him at the ER but put another bandage on it and he bled through that before we made it home (literally a block away).

    • Brooke says:

      I forgot to add, he was using the safety thing and slicing potatoes. We couldn’t find the missing part of the finger. No potatoes for supper tonight lol

  13. Mike G says:

    I’m sitting here with the exact same injury. First time using my OXO Madeline, thinking that I was gong to have scalloped sweet potatoes with garlic cheese sauce for dinner. Wrong.

    When it wouldn’t stop bleeding after a couple of hours I went the to ER and they cauterized it. That was 10 days ago today.

    The even more stupid thing is that I knew that a lot of folks have been hurt by these and decided I wouldn’t’ be one of those guys. Wrong again.

    Upon check-in the nurse asked me to describe the pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I told her my finger was a 3 but my pride was a 10.

    I have not thrown mine away (yet?) but instead got a cut resistant glove for future cutting adventures. I hope there are no future cutting adventures and that’s its not a stupid idea as well.

    It’s been 10 days now. I’ve been putting Neosporin on it and a band aid during the day and letting it dry out overnight. Anyone know how it takes to heal?

    • Jenna says:

      Can you share what the healing process was for you? I did this a week ago and where they cauterized seems like it will never look normal somewhat again.

  14. Bitter Pill says:

    I just injured my thumb on a mandoline last Thursday. Fortunately, the ER in my area was able to see me twenty minutes after I admitted myself. I was doing Brussels sprouts and because of their size, it was hard for me to get a good grip using the hand protector that came with the mandoline. I assumed that I’d stop in time. Nope. I saw a slice of something on the mandoline and then I saw the blood!!! I am on blood thinners because of a heart condition so of course it wouldn’t stop. The nurse put a yellow bandage on it that stopped the bleeding. I have to use finger cots, and they protect the wound and the bandage from getting wet, but cuts off the circulation on my thumb, so I take it off every hour or so. I am using a would cleaner and Neosporin to take care of it. The nurse said it would take several months for my thumb to even start looking normal again. I got the mandoline because I want to eat healthier – I can slice up lots of veggies and eat them. Now I am wondering if it is worth it..

  15. Brandy Perdue says:

    Did this last Sunday. I wish it would let me post a picture. My thumb is throbbing!

  16. Thomas says:

    Just did the same thing today. First use of the thing. I tried my local doctor. No luck. So went to the emergency room, they sent me to a 24 hour doctor service at the same place, and they basically scolded me for not having made an apportionment (at a place whose sole purpose if dealing with acute but non-threatening situations).

    Luckily my sister is a nurse at the hospital and had a look at it, cleaned it, gave me advice and extra bandages. Hopefully it will heal good, but I did take of a chunk of my finger plus nail. But unlike you, no pain, and no throbbing.

  17. Kathy says:

    I just did almost the same thing today….. couldn’t believe I did it. I am smarter than this, but…. just thought I would slice a couple of slices of Apple to see how thin it was. I had never used it before. Didn’t want to get the shield dirty for just a few slices. No idea how my brain let me slice more, or how my thumb got into it so quickly. I did not go to emergency room…. got mine to stop bleeding, but mine is a much longer slice… big white flap of skin. Painful… but, mostly mentally. How embarrassing!


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