News Headlines Article

Titanium Rings Tough To Crack In Emergencies
National Public Radio

When the patient showed up in the emergency department, he was hurting. He’d taken a nice long soak in a warm tub, and a few hours later his fingers swelled enough to trap his ring. Now that finger was painful and swollen. The ring needed to come off, since restricted blood flow can lead to tissue death in the finger, which is about as fun as it sounds.

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be much of a problem. ER personnel are used to removing rings. “It’s not uncommon at all,” says Dr. Bret Nicks, an emergency room physician at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., who says he and his colleagues see traumatic injuries from working with heavy machinery such as cars or even the odd softball misfire. A published review of the problem also names “infection, skin disorders, allergic reactions, bee sting, and pregnancy” as causes for trapped rings.