WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES: A man has shared gruesome photos to warn others after he lost his finger when his wedding ring got caught on his ute.
Dean Outlaw, from the NSW Central Coast, was packing up his ute after work on Friday when suddenly he slipped and his wedding ring got caught on a bolt.
He told Yahoo News Australia the pressure of the ring ripped his finger clean off and “it went flying” over the wheelbarrow he was strapping down and into the back of the truck.
The handyman called out to the owner of the house where he had just completed the job and they rushed to get him a towel to stop the bleeding.
“It stopped bleeding and the heavy pain stopped pretty quick,” he said.
“I rang my wife who was five minutes down the road and asked her to come and get me. She came out and she and the customer had to go looking through the back of the ute to find the finger.”
Mr Outlaw said he was two minutes off finishing work and looking forward to going home for a beer when the freak accident happened.
He is now recovering in hospital on Sydney’s North Shore where doctors have reattached his finger.
While he can move it as tendons remained attached to the bone, Mr Outlaw said there was no feeling.
Since doctors reattached it, blood is rushing into his finger, but the problem is it isn’t circulating out.
He has had leeches on his finger to encourage blood flow for the past two days, but if that doesn’t work doctors will have to undertake a number of other steps in the hope it can be salvaged and not amputated.
Mr Outlaw is expecting to stay in the hospital for at least a week, but it could be longer if the reattachment doesn’t start to take.
“The wedding ring just peeled it off, I can’t even think of a way to describe it,” he said.
“Just the pressure bunched it all up until the skin has given away and it shot off like a champagne cork.”
The tradie is now warning others about the dangers of simply wearing a wedding ring and other jewellery.
“I’ll never be wearing another ring or a bracelet. Normally I have a ring on, a bracelet the kids gave me and a watch,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ll be wearing any of it. You really just don’t know what’s going to happen. It would have easily been my watch – it could’ve dislocated my wrist but you don’t know, it could risk my whole hand flying off.
“You wouldn’t want a 17 or 18-year-old kid to go through that.”
While losing his finger would not affect Mr Outlaw too much at work as he is right-handed, he was concerned activities like wakeboarding and surfing would become more difficult, and if he does get feeling back in his finger, he is expecting to experience immense pain.
He added doctors had told him injuries like his own were fairly common and urged people to wear a silicone or rubber ring if they insisted on wearing one.
“I just want people to be conscious of what can happen and it can happen to anybody,” Mr Outlaw said.
“It’s also not just at work – I climb over my ute all the time putting things on there to go away to go fishing, it could have happened on the weekend just as easily.”
According to Monash University, the injury is known as ring avulsion and can “vary from a mere breach of the skin through to complete amputation”.
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