Piranha Bites Hobbyist - Nearly amputates finger

By Mike Rizzo (Edited by Frank Magallanes, OPEFE) - August 9, 2006


Some of you at Piranha Fury may have noticed I have not been around much.  The past couple weeks I have been moving myself and the  last thing I needed to do was move was my Serrasalmus rhombeus (a big diamond rhombeus).  I got this fish from fellow piranha-fury member Winkyee (aka DrZoidberg).

To make a long story short, I had the fish in the net, out of the tank on his way to a large bucket and the fish decided to jump. I tried to block him with my hand and the fish bit all the way down into my finger knuckle. The fish broke the capsule my knuckle is in and chipped a piece of bone off it. Also went through all the nerves, and some other stuff in my finger. I spent about 6 hours in the Emergency Room with tons of doctors and ended up seeing a surgeon. He isn't sure if I need to have surgery or not, he wants to wait to see if it gets infected first. There are just 3 stitches holding the flap of skin and flesh on so that if they need to go back in to work on it is easier to do. I guess if they stitched it all, I'd need around 30 or more stitches. Needless to say it hurts. I lost around 150cc of blood from the bite. It happened so fast I had no clue, all I knew was he bit me and there was blood everywhere.


 There was a giant flap of skin and flesh hanging off my finger, then it was just shock and almost passing out due to the amount of rapid blood loss.


The surgeon actually wants me to keep it mobile and keep moving it, and if I cant move it or it starts to hurt more it is a clear sign of infection, plus as the scar tissue forms he doesn't want it to form so that it hinders my ability to use my finger. I may have a giant scar, especially since they don't want to stitch it all up just in case it does get an infection they don't want to rip it all apart again if surgery is needed. Hopefully when I go see the surgeon again next week he can put a few more stitches in. The surgeon would basically cut along the same line the fish bit me on and then stitch it. It would get rid of some scaring, though that would then involve surgery which I'm not a fan of. He said it will most likely continue to bleed for at least a week. I am changing the bandage three (3) times a day and it is always bloody when I do so. If I move it the right way, its almost like I can feel it tearing more which is rather painful to say the least. The paramedics put the fish back in the tank (it landed in the bucket of water after biting me) so that it would not suffocate. I hope people will see what piranhas are capable of doing and be careful and use a bucket. It is a bit more of a pain, but not having use of your right hand really sucks as does being off work. 


Doctors and paramedics couldn't believe the size of the piranha that bit me (11 inches TL) and that I was still going to keep him and not eat him for dinner one night.  They just don't get how awesome of a fish he is. The doctors also couldn't believe how deep he was able to bite in and how much damage he actually did to my finger and that he was actually able to get all the way down into my knuckle.

Lesson to be learned from this


Always use buckets to catch your fish in and move them and not nets... he did a lot of damage to my finger and I will loose some feeling in it due to all the nerve damage that was done and some ability to bend it fully.. not to mention when you are right handed and lose a lot of the use of your hand, you feel useless... just try typing and not having an index finger... it is hard as hell. I  had always used nets, even on 10 inch S. geryi and never had an issue, they actually were very good about it, easy to catch and didn't flop in the net. This S. rhombeus wanted nothing to do with it though. From now on I will always be using buckets though. 


Don't want any more trips to the ER in the near future!


Here is the monster in his new home, I made the stand and canopy and it is not yet done being planted. With my left hand is very hard to do since I have about 0 coordination with it!









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