Chain: Cost Of Bike Craze: An Amputated Fingertip | Kochi News

KOCHI: As the bike craze grows in the city, the hospitals here are seeing an increase in the number of patients who lose their fingertips while cleaning bike chain. In most cases, there is either total amputation or near amputation with the most affected often being either the thumb or the index finger.
Plastic surgeons said that on an average each one of them sees at least one such case in a week. Five years ago, it was just about one case a month. “Affected youngsters said that they clean the bike themselves as they love their bike and want to take care of it. People need to be careful when cleaning the bike chains as they are not accustomed or trained to do it. This mainly happens when people clean the bike after removing the chain cover and race the bike,” said Dr Momin Zakir, plastic surgeon, VPS Lakeshore Hospital.
Dr Abhijeet Wakure, plastic surgeon at Lakeshore Hospital, said in Maharashtra (his native) such cases are very rare and even those who do get hurt are mechanics. “Most of the affected patients here are between the age of 18 and 35,” said Dr Wakure.
Dr KG Bhaskara, plastic surgeon, Medical Trust Hospital, said that though patients usually bring the severed finger immediately to the hospital, in more than 90% of cases, it is so badly damaged that it is not possible to replant it. “We do attempt in some cases but rarely succeed,” he added.
Motorcycle mechanics said many biking enthusiasts consider working on their bikes a recreational activity but when it comes to dangerous parts like a chain, they get injured. “After every 200km to 300 km ride, dust particles get accumulated in the exposed bike chain and the throttle gets tight. The problem is when an untrained person tries to clean the bike chain, while leaving the bike running at high speed,” said Shajeer Ismail, Kochi-based bike mechanic and professional motorbike racer.

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