Growing up on a farm I knew the dangers of equipment, machines, and animals. A visual reminder to protect my fingers, was my grandfather’s left hand. Papa was missing his ring and pointer finger, on the left hand, after the first knuckle. One finger was lost while bucking hay wearing a ring. The other was a machine injury.
Later in life, my father-in-law degloved his finger. He was compacting his trash standing on the trash can. His left hand was supporting him on the garage door track. When he jumped down his ring caught on the track. The force of him coming down and the ring being caught, degloved his finger. The injury took some time to heal and lots of therapy.
While in law enforcement I would regularly choose to not wear my wedding band to avoid potential injury. Having had people close to me have serious injuries I was more vigilant than some.
So what causes degloving of a finger? These injuries can happen a couple ways. One way occurs when force is applied to a caught hand/finger and pulled at higher speed. The skin is then pulled from the hand/finger revealing the muscle and ligaments below. Another way is having machinery pull and pinch the hand/finger.
How can we avoid these horrendous injuries in the outdoors?
The first step would be mindful of what we are grabbing onto, working around, and putting our hands into.
The second way is to wear gloves. We have covered this extensively here.
Another option is consider what jewelry you wear. My wedding band is made of tungsten. Tungsten has to be crushed to be removed in emergency situations. Many of my friends have titanium. Titanium must be cutoff. These rings are hard wearing and look great. They are very dangerous too. Gold and silver are softer metals and can be removed more easily.
A few years ago a couple companies began selling silicone rings. Silicone rings have never been a gimmick to me. My wife bought me one and I wore it everyday. I was able to happily wear the ring while working without fear of causing injury.
My wife now wears one too. We have our rings we gave at our wedding and wear them for special occasions. But for almost 4 years I have been exclusively wearing a silicone ring. When working on my vehicle, being outdoors, and daily activities I have less concern I may cause injury.
A couple ring companies to consider:
Whichever ring you choose know you have taken a step toward protecting your hands and fingers from a potential injury.
Plan, Prep, Explore