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WARNING: Dont grab the Quickdraw (graphic pics)
10:54:05 AM
Don't grab the 'draw - a cautionary tale

Pumped out of his mind and with the prospect of falling off at Britten Crag (Christchurch, New Zealand) recently, James McLafferty erroneously lunged for a quickdraw. Unfortunately his hand slid down the draw,inadvertently opening the gate and allowing the hooked end of the carabiner to penetrate between his index and middle finger.

As he fell past the draw the carabiner slid deeper into his hand and underneath the extensor tendon of his first finger. You can imagine his horror as he jerked himself to a halt before watching the carabiner exit his hand - tearing something white along with it, only to fall further onto the next bolt down.

Once lowered to the ground a quick stocktake revealed no broken bones, but two partially de-gloved fingers, a hand ripped open and an extensor tendon torn completely off the bone.

James would like other climbers to be aware that the practice of grabbing draws is potentially dangerous! Perhaps this photo will help you resist that draw-grabbing urge and take the plunge instead.

Following reconstructive surgery it appears James' tendon has been sucessfully reattached and he is hopeful a rehabilitation programme with the hand therapy department at Christchurch hospital will get him back on the rock next summer.

Report : Greg Jack
Photo : James McLafferty

This was first published in The Climber (NZAC), Issue 59 Autumn 2007

11:09:27 AM
11:22:51 AM
faaarrrrrk. Thats really nasty. Hope his recovery goes ok.

11:32:01 AM
Man, that is terrible. I really hope James can make a full recovery.

Im a compulsive draw grabber myself. I think the memory of those photos may alter that somewhat.
12:01:14 PM
Thanks for the heads up!!!

1:04:00 PM
gosh, don't feel like eating the rest of my lunch now ...

I've often thought this sort of accident was a chance, but not sure hard it might be to ignore any compulsion that might occur to grab a draw ..

1:17:31 PM
On 16/04/2007 Richard wrote:
>gosh, don't feel like eating the rest of my lunch now ...

Hence why I added the text 'graphic pics' to the title!

1:24:38 PM

A tale both cautionary and visceral...

A climbing partner once told of a mate of his suffering a similar injury.

At the same time, if you think of all the draw-grabbing that goes on in the world, it's definately an unusual incident.

Meanwhile, grabbing draws has saved many a whipper - including potentially dangerous ones.

I suppose it's all a judgment call.
2:18:48 PM
Thanks for that - I thought about it but glad you did it

3:51:32 PM
top work, love it. tell him to man up and pour metho on it.
5:55:04 PM
wow....that really turned my stomach.

top tip - big fat old fashioned draws are much better for your redpointing efforts that the skinny new lightweight ones for precisely this reason.

6:18:59 PM
argh nasty, i see bone! hope a full recovery ensues.

The lesson here is don't preplace draws cos u'll try grab em! lol!
6:32:40 PM
Yeah cheers, was bit of a fright for sure. Progress has been real good - thanks to hand threpay at christchurch hospital. Have almost full movement back in the finger which is pretty amazing. Not been back on rock yet but just matter of time.

7:31:39 PM
On 16/04/2007 mousey wrote:
>top work, love it. tell him to man up and pour metho on it.

Yea, tape it up and back into it!

Is he flipping someone the bird in the second shot?
Looks like it would be a bugger to stich.
Was the tendon pulled off the bones at either end (doesn't look like it) or snaped hand forearm area.

All the best for full recovery!!

Nothing to do with climbing but still awesome shot!

Phil S
8:03:05 PM
Unreal. Not only are bigger 'biners easier to grab, they're easier to clip too. And you get stonger as you
walk to and from the crag.
3:45:39 AM
On 16/04/2007 n00bpwn3r wrote:
>Is he flipping someone the bird in the second shot?
>Looks like it would be a bugger to stich.
>Was the tendon pulled off the bones at either end (doesn't look like it)
>or snaped hand forearm area.

Ask him - he posted just above you....

9:45:11 AM
Crap! Hope it heals fast. Lucky (?) it wasn't a flexor tendon.

7:09:20 AM
The whole tendon sheath and all came off the finger - suregeon pretty surpised that I would be able to bend finger again - 3 months out and almost back to normal - back climbing this week.
8:20:24 AM
Good to hear you are having a quick recovery. You probably have it covered, but make sure you stay active with physio. I dislocated my wrist years ago, rehabed the shortened (unused) tendons back to normal after the cast came off and pretty much left it at that.

A year or so later I developed a mystery pain in one of my fingers which to this day hasn't disappeared. I can't help thinking it has to do with the altered mechanics of my 'injured' hand. Who knows if more physio would have prevented this but my guess is that it wouldn't have hurted.

Cheers, Petter.

There are 19 messages in this topic.


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