When Should You Seek Treatment After Being Impaled?

By Coma Physician Dr. Jimmy

Recently, a local man was impaled by a shovel and refused to seek immediate medical attention. After speaking at length with him and with many others in the days following the ordeal, I’ve come to realize that most people don’t realize how serious impalement injuries can be.

From my own unscientific poll of neighbors and friends, I found that most would not consider being impaled a “serious injury.” As a medical professional, this was a startling revelation.

Sure, some impaling injuries are less serious than others. And sure, sometimes you get impaled and can probably just brush it off, pull it out and move on with your day. But, many times that is not the case and you should seek immediate medical attention.

As a service to the community, I’ve put together an impaling “cheat sheet” to help identify the degrees of impalement injuries and determine when you should go to a doctor.

Impalement guide

ABOVE: Dr. Jimmy’s guide to impaling injuries is designed to take the guess work out of determining when to seek medical attention

Of course, this chart is not comprehensive. It would be impossible to include every item you could potentially be impaled with. It does represent what I believe are likely the most common objects one could be impaled with, along with representative object (wicker chair, for example, could apply to any type of furniture).

So how do you use this guide? It’s pretty simple. First, let’s say you’ve been impaled by something. You’ll want to identify the object and then refer to the guide above. If you can’t find the exact object, try to find the object that is most similar to the one that is buried deep in your flesh. Next, using the color scale, determine whether “it’s cool” or whether you should “seek immediate attention.”

Should you find yourself somewhere in the middle, my advice is to do a quick Google search and go from there.

I am hopeful that this tool can help you and our community be better prepared for impalement injuries. Be safe and be diligent! When in doubt refer to this simple-to-use chart. Godspeed.



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