By Zahra Huber

TROY (WWJ) – A local hospital has seen a rush of snow-related injuries.

Dr. Steven Smith at Beaumont Hospital in Troy said six people who were not careful with their machines were admitted to the emergency room after sticking their hands into their clogged snow blowers.

Two people lost fingers, while the others suffered more minor injuries.

Smith told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Zahra Huber all of these injuries could have been prevented.

“It’s critical that you just turn off the machine, unclog it, and just restart it again.  It’s a simple injury to avoid,” Smith said. “I think the unusually high number [of injuries] is really due to the wet, sticky snow that is clogging machines much more readily, much more easily.”

One of those six patients, 77-year-old Jack Whitsitt of Washington Township, couldn’t agree more with the doctor.

“This is a stupid mistake. I’m just gonna say: never, never, never put your hand in the snow blower,” said Whitsitt. “This particular time I had slipped. The engine was running by the blades were not turning. And as I slipped on the ground, I hit the lever that starts the unit running. That’s when my hand went down into the chute and I came back with less two fingers.”

At first, said Whitsitt, he didn’t even realize what had happened.

“My first comment to myself was, ‘Wow, I cut my glove right off.’ And I couldn’t feel the pain at that point in time … But of course after a couple seconds … I could feel it,” he said. “So I put the machine away and went and told my wife I just lost two fingers.”


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