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Avocado Hand

November 09, 2022

Yes, it is a real thing! With the popularity of avocados there has been an increase in the amount of related knife injuries while preparing them. Approximately 9000 people went to the ER last year with injuries sustained while preparing avocados. Avocado hand injuries constitute 2% of knife related injuries. Most of these injuries occur as people hold the fruit in their hand while attempting to cut them or remove the pit. These can be serious when nerves or tendons are injured.

To help avoid "avocado hand" use the following guidelines:

  1. Assess the ripeness of the avocado, softer is easier to cut.
  2. Do not hold the avocado in your hand, use a cutting board that is secure on a countertop.
  3. Stabilize the avocado on the board with the non-dominant hand. Cut away from you & around the avocado until you hit the seed.
  4. Open in 2 halves and use a spoon or avocado utensil to remove the pit.

If you happen to cut your hand apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Clean the wound with soap & water before applying a sterile dressing. Seek medical attention if:

  1. Bleeding persists
  2. The cut is deep or or you can see below the skin
  3. If the wound is large & gaping and you cannot push the edges together
  4. There is loss of sensation
  5. There is loss of motion
  6. The cut is across a joint
  7. If there are any signs of infection

About the author:

Karen Clark, OT, CHT