Do scissors kill?
February 2, 2006 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever been maimed or killed running with scissors?

Is it true that if you hold scissors wrong you could somehow trip and end up stabbing yourself or others?
posted by Suparnova to Grab Bag (21 answers total)
Yes, and yes.
posted by weirdoactor at 2:37 PM on February 2, 2006

It's not the holding of the scissors that causes you to trip. The problem is that you're holding a blade near your face when you trip.
posted by frogan at 2:52 PM on February 2, 2006

Definitely. People die doing all sorts of things. A medical examiner once showed me pictures of a lady who tripped while brushing her hair, falling face first on to the handle of the brush. It went straight through her eye and punctured her brain. Whoops. That proves nothing about scissors, but it's safe to assume that something sharp has probably resulted in someone's accidental death.
posted by gaelenh at 2:55 PM on February 2, 2006

Response by poster: What I'm looking for is more specific instances of when people have died or been injured from this, as I have not found any.
posted by Suparnova at 2:57 PM on February 2, 2006

I can't get access to such databases via Google; but I'd seek out journals cataloguing injuries treated in emergency rooms, ophthalmological injuries, injuries requiring plastic surgery, and the like.
posted by weirdoactor at 3:15 PM on February 2, 2006

You might find something in this thread from the blue.
posted by ldenneau at 3:18 PM on February 2, 2006

Best answer: A pubmed search (for scissors accident) reveals some abstracts. I'm sure you could mess around with various search terms there.
posted by gaspode at 3:20 PM on February 2, 2006

The Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Midlothian, VA is in a farmhouse originally constructed in 1732. In the 1840s, a woman fell and was killed (the backstory is somewhat interesting). One theory is that she died after falling on scissors in a sewing basket. Not entirely on point, I admit.

Also, "he fell on some scissors" is a relatively common, though generally unsuccessful, defense argument. Nancy Larios argued that her husband must have been carrying a chair and some scissors when he fell, stabbing himself through the eye. Unfortunately for Mrs. Larios, the evidence showed that she duct-taped her husband to a chair, bludgeoned him with an iron and then stabbed him in the eye.
posted by fochsenhirt at 3:22 PM on February 2, 2006

Best answer: See here and here. My government says kids are hospitalized weekly for injuries from scissors and the like. A journal of opthamalogy should give you details on how many were running at the time.
posted by acoutu at 3:25 PM on February 2, 2006

Best answer: When I was working in the government documents section of a library, the reports of the Consumer Product Safety Commission were always good for entertaining horrifying product accident stories.
posted by matildaben at 3:30 PM on February 2, 2006

Response by poster: I've eaten at that steakhouse before, and it was good.
posted by Suparnova at 3:30 PM on February 2, 2006

I had a friend in jr. high school who who jumped onto a couch (not Tom Cruise style, but more like a superman-style flying leap in a horizontal position) and landed on a pair of scissors that went an inch or so into his upper thigh and required a trip to the emergency room to remove. So, don't run with 'em or leave them in stupid places is apparently the moral of this story.
posted by Zendogg at 3:31 PM on February 2, 2006

Best answer: I did a quick search on pubmed, my answer is therefore, yes, but only before 1967 or in Europe. (Joking.) Try searching Google Scholar to see if you find anything. Weridoactor is right, maybe searching specifically in an ER journal?

IANAD, and I don't have full access to these articles.

J Neurosurg. 1967 Jun;26(6):636-8. Penetrating skull wound from a pair of scissors. Case report.

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2003 Oct;13(8):710-3. Eye injuries in childhood: a retrospective investigation of 88 cases from 1988 to 2000. Tomazzoli L, Renzi G, Mansoldo C. Institute of Ophthalmology, Borgo Trento University Hospital, Verona, Italy.

PURPOSE: To assess the frequency, causes, mechanisms, and functional outcomes of eye injuries in childhood. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the hospital files of patients younger than 12 years admitted to the Institute of Ophthalmology of Verona University for eye injuries from January 1, 1988, to December 31, 2000. RESULTS: Eighty-eight cases of eye injuries (69 [78%] boys, 19 [22%] girls) were identified. The mean age at admission was 7.2 years. The most frequent causes of eye injuries were domestic accidents in patients younger than 6 years (25%) and accidents at play in those older than 6 years (35%). Scissors were the most frequent causative agents in children under 6 and toys, stones, and ball injuries in those over 6. Diagnoses, therapies implemented, ocular complications, and outcomes are reported. CONCLUSIONS: The major causes of eye injuries in childhood are preventable; thus more adequate adult supervision and educational and legislative measures are necessary and useful in order to reduce prevalence and morbidity of these accidents.

Br J Ophthalmol. 2002 Aug;86(8):920-2. The aetiology of perforating ocular injuries in children. Thompson CG, Kumar N, Billson FA, Martin F. Port Macquarie Eye Centre, NSW, Australia.

AIMS: To assess the aetiological factors associated with the occurrence of perforating ocular injuries in children in an urban setting and to assess the visual outcomes of such injuries. METHODS: All cases of perforating ocular injury presenting to a single paediatric hospital (age less than 16 years) over a 17 year period were identified by a medical record search. All new cases of perforating ocular injury identified were included. All information was obtained retrospectively from the medical records. RESULTS: There were 72 cases identified. The commonest causes of perforating ocular injury were sharp tools (knives/scissors) poked by the child into his/her own eye (17%), or objects thrown at the child (17%). Injuries were most likely to have occurred at home (58%). The age range for injuries was 8 months to 14 years 8 months. Perforating ocular injury was most frequent in the 3-6 year group (32%) followed by the 6-9 year group (25%). Males were more frequently involved than females (48-24). There was no correlation between the laterality of the eye, the time of day of the occurrence, or the day of the week of the occurrence. The final acuity achieved was better or equal to 6/12 in 36% and less than 6/60 in 31%. Injuries occurred more frequently on weekends than on weekdays. There were six enucleations (8%). Follow up was for an average period of 25 months. CONCLUSIONS: Penetrating ocular injury occurs most frequently in the home setting and mostly as the result of the use of sharp tools or by thrown objects. Prevention of penetrating ocular injury requires greater education of children and their carers especially on the potential dangers within the home.
posted by jerryg99 at 3:32 PM on February 2, 2006

Best answer: This one shows scissors are a leading cause of injury among kids under 6.
posted by acoutu at 3:41 PM on February 2, 2006

Anything can kill you.
posted by clh at 3:45 PM on February 2, 2006

My auntie put her eye out running up stairs with an icepick turned sharp side up as a little girl. She is very lucky to be alive.
posted by Scram at 4:12 PM on February 2, 2006

Best answer: I had a cousin who put her eye out when she was little because she was running with scissors. So, yeah, it definitely happens.
posted by frykitty at 4:26 PM on February 2, 2006

OMG mom was right.
posted by caddis at 6:15 PM on February 2, 2006

I'm swearing off scissors forever now!

One of my lifelong fears: falling while hiking or skiing, and being impaled by a branch. Ugh.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:53 PM on February 2, 2006

Try a stick in the eye while mountain biking. Puts a damper on the day.
posted by yclipse at 4:57 AM on February 3, 2006

In the old days when we wanted to cut something we had to use scissors, nowadays you kids just have to hit control-c!

And pasting involved actual paste (or at least glue!) We didn' have any fancy control-v to do it for us...
posted by raster at 10:53 AM on February 3, 2006

« Older Upgraded to PHP5/MySQL5, scripts denied access to...   |   LP to CD Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.