Mandoline Slicer Accident

Well, I hosed my finger up pretty good.  Rapidly slicing fresh rinsed potatoes on a mandoline slicer, I inadvertently permitted it to violently liberate 2 slices of my finger, each about 1/8" thick, with impressive alacrity.  I didn't feel a thing until after the second cut was made.  Once I felt the tiny little nick (it seriously felt like pricking my finger on a tack), I looked down to see a completely clean wound simply engulf with blood.

Between trying to show my wife my destroyed finger and clean it in the sink I somehow got it wrapped up in gauze (BAD idea - keep reading...) and got it to stop bleeding.  I knew what "stuck pig" was like before, but this was a good reminder.

Some 4 hours or so later, we went to remove the gauze.  The blood clot hat attached the gauze to the remnant of my fingertip.  This was a nightmare to undo.  If you are reading this because this has happened to you, just find a vicodin or something.  I'd have rather waxed a very sensitive area than done that.  Wow. Anyway, I finally got the gauze off and re-bandaged it with a band-aid with some Neosporin, some gauze, and some medical tape.  Basically, a breathable, clean, no-stick, antibacterial covering.

Unfortunately, I didn't get video or anything of that.  I didn't want to either - it was a gruesome, bloody mess that I probably couldn't post up here anyway.

So, this is where I leave those with weaker stomachs behind.  The pictures beyond the break are pretty graphic, so don't say you weren't warned...

Well you're here, so that means you want the goodies.  Enjoy!  Oh, and remember - click the images for larger versions!  Sorry about the quality differences on the pics - some were taken with my iPhone4, and the others with my DSLR.

Broken video removed, sorry.  I'm not sure what YouTube did with it...

Here's a picture from 70 hours after the incident.  The wound still looks pretty juicy.  There's a red sort of jelly encasing the whole thing - this is apparently part of the healing process.

Here we are 128 hours after the event.  It isn't quite so gooey anymore, and seems to have formed some sort of crust.

Here we are 169 hours after the accident.  I don't know if that's pus in there or what, but I am not going to mess with it.  My home surgery skills stop at emergency repairs on this one.  The wrinkly skin is unrelated - water just got under the bandage.  This may have had an effect on the healing process (positive or negative) - but I have no way of knowing.   Finger smelled kind of funny - again, not sure if that's the "pus" or the moisture.

Here we are at 215 hours. That white pus thing has gone away.  The finger didn't smell funny either.  The gel has kind of hardened into a nice scab here.  Still going to keep it protected, however.

Moving on.  At 270 hours, well, I don't know what the deal is with it.  It looks like some of the scab came away or something.  At least the secondary injury has almost healed up.

Here we go at 413 hours.  It's really starting to heal up nice now, nice hard scab, the secondary injury has closed up.

424 hours after the incident.  Not a lot of change here - but it was only 12 hours later. 

449 hours.  Aaaand I got water under the band-aid again.  Damn it.   The scab is starting to fall apart, it's purpose in life dutifully performed.

At 468 hours, the scab has finally peeled up!  It's almost completely off!

At 487 hours, the scab is long gone.  Pure, new skin!  Soft as a baby's ass but tender as hell.  Still need some padding on the end of the finger.  It's almost healed up!

Here we are at 533 hours.  Doing much better...I also just noticed the notch it took out of my finger.  At the end of this I'm going to put a comparison, I guess.

Well, folks, it's over I think.  Time for the band-aids to come off.  I'm going to say it's safely healed (I'm typing with it right now) and end this little series.  At 647 hours, I present my (finally) healed finger.

Well, that's all there is to this story.  Feel free to comment with any questions.  It's been fun walking you through my ordeal.


  1. I realize this is commenting more than two years after your accident, but I wanted to thank you for posting this. This past October I had a similar accident with a mandoline, although in my case it was a 1/16" setting and I only made one pass before realizing something was wrong. This page and your pictures helped me a lot- you let me know exactly what to expect in terms of the injury itself and the healing process, and helped keep me from freaking out when it first happened, so that I was able to get the first aid and then the emergency room care I needed. Thank you for posting this, sir.

  2. I just wonder how else you could have gotten it to stop bleeding without gauze. I just did this to myself, fortunately not very deep, and I still have the original bandage on, and I'm wondering what I should do next. It's not bleeding anymore (I think), so I'm thinking I'll try to change the bandage and put on some Neosporin.

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  4. I am on week one of the same injury. Thought my husband was crazy when he told me it would take about 4 weeks to completely heal. I went to the doctor because I could not get it to stop bleed. He used silver nitrate sticks, which you can get at the drugstore, to stop the bleeding. My cut is on my knuckle and now that there is a good scab, I keep it uncovered.

  5. wow. I sustained the exact injury last Saturday night...your comments and photos really helped me get a grip on what to expect...A few additional tid bits for the next victims that read this...the gauze fused to the finger thing is unavoidable, regardless of the type of gauze and whether you add a large dollup of neosporin...just soak your hand in warm salt water till the clotted gauze releases...this might take 20 minutes or will have to do this each time you change your wound dressing...for first few days this is once/day...moral of the story...use a chain mail glove when using the mandolin slicer...or don't use it at all!