Deaths as a result of opening plastic packages.
June 15, 2006 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Help me win a bet against my girlfriend. Relates to deaths while opening those pesky plastic packages.

I'm looking for examples of people who died while opening plastic packages.

Yeah, I know it sounds a little crazy. Today I was opening some bike lights that were in a hard plastic package, I was actually frustrated to be seeing the instructions on the back on how to install the batteries and wondering "Well where is the instructions to open the package?!" I ended up using a knife and nearly cutting myself (as usual). With 6.5 billion people on the planet I'm sure that at least one has accidently stabbed themselves to death while tearing these packages open.

The types of packages I am thinking of are the type that mp3 players often come in, or other small but valuable items (ram, tools)

The best sample picture I could find of one is here, not even one of the really tough plastic packages that I experienced today;

I got $5 on this :-) I'll split the profit.
posted by Sonic_Molson to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
Best answer: wrap rage is the term you want to google.
posted by delmoi at 6:10 PM on June 15, 2006

Best answer: you might find this funny.
posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on June 15, 2006

Deaths? I doubt any. Pay your girl friend now and avoid strife in your relationship like this.
posted by caddis at 6:11 PM on June 15, 2006

Probably doesn't help your bet, but I did cut myself quite badly trying to get the packaging off a USB key...
posted by bella.bellona at 6:12 PM on June 15, 2006

60,000? wow, perhaps someone did expire. Heart attack?
posted by caddis at 6:21 PM on June 15, 2006

When I was five I cut myself badly trying to cut through some hard plastic binding that held some balloons together. Looking back, I don't recall what exactly I wanted to accomplish...

Not an example of wrap rage and doesn't help you since I didn't die, but I suppose I could have if I had been home alone at the time.
posted by moonshine at 6:32 PM on June 15, 2006

It's called Blister Packaging/Plastic and it's usually produced by Formtex, I think. OpenX makes a tool designed specifically open it, so you might want to start your quest for someone who's been killed there.
posted by tumult at 6:51 PM on June 15, 2006

It's also called "clamshell" packaging. I can't find any info about deaths, the best I can find is from this recent Wired news article:
Anecdotally, though, emergency room doctors say they're slammed the week after Christmas with such injuries and see them regularly all year. Dr. Christian Arbelaez, a Boston-area ER physician, sees about a case a week, some as serious as tendon and nerve damage that require orthopedic surgeons to repair.

"I would definitely like to tell (manufacturers) that serious hand injuries are occurring because of this packaging," said Arbelaez, a member of the Trauma Care and Injury Control National Committee of American College of Emergency Physicians. "Especially for people who have jobs that require the use of their hands a lot, this can be detrimental to their careers. There needs to be some kind of change."
posted by Rhomboid at 7:38 PM on June 15, 2006

I'm looking through pubmed searching for case study and combinations of plastic and packaging. Nothing so far.

Lots of drug-mule associated complications and lots of "ol' grampaw swallowing the plastic/foil packaging" that some drugs come in.
posted by porpoise at 7:42 PM on June 15, 2006

I bought a red thumb drive in a package like this.

I was very careful and calm with the scissors I used to cut it open, but cut my meat-thumb clear down to the muscles on the sharp edge of the plastic itself.

I had two red thumbs.
posted by Sallyfur at 8:46 PM on June 15, 2006

Like Sallyfur, I've incurred some nasty hand/forearm injuries while painstakingly opening those suckers. No matter how careful you are, it's rigid plastic that snaps its razor sharp edges right back to where they were a second ago (also known as "that @%# place I've been trying to get my hands into for the last hour!").

Best advice: boycott all blister packaging until retailers quit making us pay in blood for their shoplifting problems.

Second best advice: when you give up on the boycott, buy a pair of metal mesh gloves.

Death? Uh, sorry, no info there...
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:35 PM on June 15, 2006

Not exactly, but they say Tennessee Williams died biting off a child-proof medicine cap.
posted by Scram at 11:47 PM on June 15, 2006

I've never heard of a death related to this. I think all it would take would be a single death and resulting wrongful death suit to eliminate this packaging entirely, so I'm guessing you're gonna have to pay your gf the 5 smackers.
posted by antifuse at 2:11 AM on June 16, 2006

for what it's worth, my mom just had to undergo a good 8-hour surgery after she nearly cut her fucking thumb off trying to open one of these things with a knife. i suppose it's possible she could've hit an artery and bled to death if nobody'd been around to take her to the hospital or whatever, but it seems rather unlikely.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 9:28 PM on June 16, 2006

Another personal anecdote: While trying to open my Targus laptop cooling pad, some plastic broke off and hit my just underneath my left eye, leaving a nasty scratch. Thank goodness it didn't hit any higher!

I got an Open-X immediately afterwards (google it.)
posted by IndigoRain at 11:20 PM on June 16, 2006

I was in the fast lane of the freeway trying to open a taperecorder package with my teeth when ahhhhhhh
posted by zackdog at 12:48 AM on June 24, 2006

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