Home Safety: Cutting Edge

Publication Date: 
Tue, 11/08/2011
By: Alere Staff

As a patient taking warfarin, you are more prone to prolonged bleeding resulting from cuts or scrapes. Obvious hazards in the kitchen include forks and knives in dishwashers as well as knives used around cutting boards. Common home hidden cutting hazards are metal cutting edges on plastic wrap and aluminum foil roll packaging.

Every kitchen in America has their designated drawer where plastic sandwich bags, plastic wrap, aluminum and wax paper foil are kept. These convenient dispensing packages use a raised serrated metal edge, usually 12” long. Products that use these type “cutting edge” features include:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Wax Paper
  • Plastic Wrap

You can run a constant risk of severe cuts from the raised metal edges simply by reaching into the drawer to grab a box. These cuts are most likely to occur right along the wrist as you reach into drawers. Many patients turn the box so the cutting edge faces downward reducing the risk of accidental cuts. In most cases this reduces the risk but other members of the household many not always return the box in the “safe” position.

The following situations increase the chance of boxes being returned in the danger position:

  • Children or Grandchildren visits

  • Neighbor luncheons

  • In-law visits

  • Caterers used for a holiday party

  • Changing brands of products

One method you can use to reduce the risk of dangerous cuts is to label each of the boxes that has an exposed cutting edge. This label could include green color-coded construction paper with, “This Side Up” written on it. This would insure each box was returned in the proper position keeping the cutting blade facing down.

Reduce your risk of a serious cutting edge injury by organizing your frequently used drawers–especially those with known cutting hazards.