Rose thorn infection? (On me, not rose.)

alisandeApril 27, 2008

I posted this in the Rose Forum, but the KTers know about everything . . .

A thorn went deep into the back of my right hand yesterday, about an inch below the ring finger knuckle. It was painful, and at first I thought the tip was still imbedded under the skin. I squeezed it (not much to squeeze on the back of the hand) and washed it and applied a little alcohol. I don't think any of the thorn was left behind.

Today there's a red streak from the entry point to the knuckle (at the base of the finger), and it hurts to use that finger. Normally I would blow off such a small thing, but I remember what a member of the Rose Forum went through last year (complete with surgery). This doesn't sound like his experience (no lumps or bumps, except for a swelling at the point of entry), but I'm wondering if I should have it checked out if it's not better tomorrow.

I really really don't want to (I have three appointments tomorrow, none involving doctors), so I thought I'd consult with you guys first. Diagnoses, please . . .

Thanks!

Susan

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carol_in_california

You can try soaking it in warm Epsom salt water and watch for an increase in swelling, pain or fever.
It might be a good idea to go to an Urgent care facility today, however.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:06PM
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mariend

Yes, have it checked out. You may need a tetanus shot. Several years ago it was pointed out that the fertilizer you use on these plants and others can cause problems on people. Sorry, can't think of what it is, but is like lockjaw. Especially with that red streak which could be blood poisoning. Do not let it go without medical attention.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:32PM
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LorifromUtah

Apparently part of the thorn is still in you hand.
That's what's causing the redness and soreness.

Like Carol said, soak in hot Epsom salt.
This will, unless the thorn is very very deep, draw it to surface. Soak in the hottest water you can stand. Between soaks cover the site with neosporin and a bandaid. Tylenol or ibuprophen will help with the discomfort. If doing this doesn't help by tonight, I would seek medical treatment tonight. The streak worries me as it could be a sign of blood poisoning and you don't want to mess around with that.

Good luck!

Lori

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:36PM
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trishaw

I read your post over on the rose forums and was going to answer there but got booted off the net- Anyway, I make my living with roses and let me tell you- Run do not walk to the doctor. That red streak means business. Please take time to get in- there is still a part of the thorn in your hand. I know of what I speak!

Trish

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:39PM
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ronf_gw

Listen to Trish.
I know of a person that got a rose thorn in their thumb. It got infected and eventually the doctor had to amputate part of the thumb to eradicate the infection. I don't mean to throw you into a panic but this is very serious.

Ron

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 4:07PM
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kathi_mdgd

Yup listen to Trish.Get theee to the urgent Care center,NOW.
Kathi

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:33PM
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linda_in_iowa

I have had problems with pyracantha and Christmas cactus thorns. Both of which I have had to have dug out my doctors. One doctor told me that if I am allergic to two kinds of thorns, there is a third one that I am also allergic to.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:33PM
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lydia1959

I agree with the others about the red streak ... it could be blood poisoning. Get the the Urgent Care or ER.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 6:01PM
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alisande

Thank you, everyone. I just got home from food shopping, and my hand is much worse. Could hardly pick up anything, and typing this is no fun. I'm gonna take your advice and head for an ER as soon as I get my food in the fridge.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 6:02PM
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bostonpat_gw

That red streak could signify blood poisoning. You need to see a doctor NOW. You may also need a tetanus booster - the tetanus toxin is found in the soil, dust and manure - you opened a pathway to that toxin and need to be treated - tetanus is lockjaw!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Gardener Warning

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 6:04PM
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socks

Keep us posted. Those thorns are as evil as the roses are beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 6:14PM
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alisande

Thanks, everyone, for pushing me out the door. Both the triage nurse and the doctor said rose thorns can be quite dangerous, and nothing to fool around with. He (the doctor) didn't think any part of the thorn remained in my skin, but he said it looked like I had a bacterial infection. The area was red, swollen, and hot. He prescribed ten days worth of antibiotics, gave me one to take immediately and one for tomorrow morning, and also gave me a tetanus shot. I'm glad to be home, and the dogs are looking for their dinners.

Thanks again!

Susan

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:38PM
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hayjud_mn

I'm sure glad you went! Sounds like it is all under control.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:52PM
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jkayd_il5

Susan,

Had to check in to see if you were OK. I was worried about you. Sure glad you went to the doctor.

Judy

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:57PM
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nodakgal

Whew! I was worried too and checked in here a couple times. I 've never had roses but shoot who knew they were that dangerous?
Glad things are ok now and you got checked over!!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:33PM
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mariend

Glad you went and got taken care of. Good thoughts for complete recovery.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:37PM
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foggyj

I had no idea that could happen from a rose thorn. I'm sorry that happened to you, but you performed a public service announcement! LOL
Glad it's taken care of.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:43PM
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grammahony

Boy I didn't know that could happen either. I'll be sure to wear my gloves tomorrow when I trim mine. I'm glad you went to the Dr. and everything is okay.
Leslie

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:12PM
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mammie15

I'm sure glad you got that problem looked at and hoping you're on the mend.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:19PM
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jannie

I've gotten infections in my fingers and hands from handling cactus. I know how painful it can be. Glad you went to an urgent care center. Hope you feel better fast!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:27PM
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linda_in_iowa

I, too, am glad you went to the ER.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:20AM
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uxorial

I will never forget sitting in class to become a Master Gardener, listening to a rose expert give a lecture on roses. When he said that rose thorns can cause tetanus, nearly everyone in the class was surprised. Most of us had never heard that roses can cause tetanus, and we were all avid gardeners. And here in the Pacific Northwest, almost all gardeners grow roses of some kind. I now wear gloves any time I'm around my roses. (And I just got a tetanus shot a few months ago.)

I'm very glad to hear that you went for treatment. And this thread has educated some gardeners too!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:42AM
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ritamay91710

I was thinking about you!! Glad to hear that you are on the mend!! I have gotten poked a few times, but never thought anything as serious as this could happen!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:45AM
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kim_okla

Good grief, I wouldn't have known that.

Get well soon.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:58PM
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Toni S

I also know of a gal who had a serious infection in her foot from a rose thorn. I took her months to get over it, including being in the hospital,deathy sick from the infection. It happened so fast. She's ok now and has been gardening ever since.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 2:07PM
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marge727

Alisande Be watchful--it may not be over yet. My daughter had the same thing happen in her garden only the rose thorn pierced the skin in her back. She developed the infection and despite antibiotics it got worse and worse. She developed MERSA the staph infection that is resistant to most antibiotics. It took a long time to heal.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 3:18PM
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rosemaryt

And here I thought you were talking about becoming obsessed with Sears Homes!!! :) Glad to hear you're on the mend.

Rose Thorn(ton)
aka, Rose Thorn
author, The Houses That Sears Built

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 4:04PM
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alisande

LOL, Rose.

Everyone, here's a scary tale from the UK. I'm just as glad I didn't read it last night.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 6:21PM
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dances_in_garden

oooh, rose thorns are the WORST! I have yet to have a scratch from a rose bush that didn't get infected, let alone a poke.

Wasn't there somebody else on this forum that got pricked by a rose thorn and practically had to have surgery?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 6:36PM
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jonesboy

I was stabbed by a rose thorn on Friday, today my left forefinger is double its normal size. having read all the information given to alisande I will be off to the doctors on Monday. Thankyou.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 9:04AM
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alisande

Jonesboy, I hope you'll go to the ER today instead of waiting. A lot can happen between now and tomorrow.

Good luck with this.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:21PM
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misbettyboop_msn_com

I got stuck on a thorn in my lower arm about 2 maybe 3 weeks ago .[I have had tetanus booster ] But ince then I have been expierencing tingling amost paining frrling in that arn and elbow pain ----------no red line or swelling---your opion yhankyou

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:25PM
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alisande

I wouldn't fool around with it, Hypacondriac. Rose thorns carry other things besides tetanus. The elbow pain, etc., might be unrelated to the thorn stick, but then again it might not. I recommend having it checked out.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 8:44AM
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hayden_Marie03

Two days ago i was trimming my rose bush and my scissors slipped and my fist went right into the thorn bush and i punched a thorn pretty hard. The thorn was stuck right in the center of my middle finger knuckle, i had to use tweezers to get it out because it was so deep. I didnt think anything of it, but the next day my knucle was twice the size and now i cant even open my hand up; when i do, i get a shock of pain in my hand and middle finger. Im really scared to go see a doctor. Is there anything i could do without going to Urgent care center? Or is it smart to go in? let me know what you think.
Thanks

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 4:03AM
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alisande

Hayden Marie, I can't imagine why you are afraid to go to a doctor. What could s/he possibly do that would be worse than what you're experiencing now?

I almost lost my index finger to bone infection years ago from damage inflicted by a terrified cat. I'm thinking the same could happen to you if you don't get some treatment ASAP. By all means, go to the urgent care center. And if they don't take your infection seriously, go somewhere else. Let us know how you make out.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 9:03AM
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