Dr. Kermit Muhammad Offers Safety Tips for Turkey Carving This Thanksgiving

Kermit Muhammad, M.D., of OAK Orthopedics offers expert turkey-carving safety guidelines for adults and families to follow this year. Patients in need of specialized hand care are encouraged to call (815) 928-8050 to be seen by Dr. Muhammad at OAK Orthopedics’ Bradley office, located at 400 S. Kennedy Drive, Suite 100. 

“Minor and severe hand and finger injuries are always a risk when using knives, especially when carving turkeys. Cuts from turkey carving are one of the top five most common injuries on Thanksgiving according to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand,” says Dr. Kermit Muhammad, fellowship-trained, board-certified hand surgeon at OAK Orthopedics. “But there are plenty of precautions and tips to follow to keep the turkey tradition as safe as it is tasty.”

Follow these safety tips to help avoid turkey-carving injuries:

  • Do not cut toward yourself, and keep your free hand on the side you are not carving toward. Never place your hand under the blade when carving.
  • Make sure your knife and cutting area are dry to avoid slips. Also, make sure you are carving in a well-lit area.
  • Only adults should carve, cut or chop the turkey. Children should not assist in this process. 
  • Only use a sharp knife and sharp cutting utensils to avoid the need to use too much force when cutting, which is dangerous. Use an electric knife if possible for better precision and ease of cutting.
  • Use kitchen shears to cut joints and bones.
  • If you cut yourself, thoroughly clean the wound with soap and water. Once thoroughly cleaned, apply direct, consistent pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.

“If your cut is still actively bleeding for more than 15 minutes after you’ve cleaned it and applied consistent pressure, you should visit the emergency room,” says Dr. Muhammad. “If you are unable to bend or move your fingers or if you experience numbness in your finger or fingertip after you’ve cut yourself, you should consult with a hand surgeon.” 

Specializing in injuries, conditions and treatments of the hand, wrist and elbow, Dr. Muhammad joined OAK Orthopedics in 2005. He is board-certified in orthopedic surgery by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and possesses a Certificate of Added Qualification in hand surgery. Dr. Muhammad currently sees patients at the practice's Bradley office and has a blog that is frequently updated with tips and tricks to prevent and address common hand, wrist and elbow injuries and conditions. Please visit www.oakortho.com/doctors/kermit-muhammad-md for more information.

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