Shrimp winch injuries

Frank A. Schroeder, Steven F. Viegas, Kelly Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Shrimp winch injuries range from phalangeal injuries to life-threatening limb amputations. The injuries often result in significant morbidity, significant cost, and lengthy hospitalizations. There are usually insufficient or nonexistent safety mechanisms on the boats to prevent these injuries. No international, federal, or state agencies regulate safety in the shellfish industry. The injuries are relatively rare, but likely underreported. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 19 cases of injuries resulting from the use of shrimp winches in a 20-year period at our institution. In addition, people who use shrimp winches were interviewed and current regulations were researched. Results: All patients were men with an average age of 46.5 years. There were 17 upper extremity injuries, ranging in severity from crushed finger tips to transhumeral amputations, and two lower extremity injuries. A classification system based on injury pathomechanics and severity is offered. During inspection of local shrimp boats, the winch system was often in poor condition. No International, federal, state, or local regulations guiding the shellfish industry were found. Conclusions: Injuries from the use of shrimp winches are rare, but may be underreported. However, they can be severe when they do occur. Stronger safety guidelines need to be put into practice to prevent these serious injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Fishing
  • Occupational injuries
  • Shrimp winch injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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