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ER docs: Respect the boots!

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  • Original Poster

    #41
    [QUOTE=Miss J;6730126
    I think this thread was made for fun, pretty obvious that if the OP were in critical condition she wouldn't give a darn. Or they could just hack her leg off above the knee and she could then do the un-stitching at home! Voila problem solved.[/QUOTE]

    If I were in critical condition, I'd add the cut off boots to my Very Bad No Good Day.

    ETA: Or I'd start making the list of crap that happened on Crap Day on another day... maybe a few days later when I regained consciousness and the thrill of being able to rant had worn off.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

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    • #42
      Never lost the boots (I've always had zippers in my show boots because of my wonky ankles), but I lost a brand spanking new pair of Tailored's (the heavy classic ones) and my favorite pair of Under Armor pants after my trainer's jumper slipped and fell on me last January. We were all pretty damned sure I broke my right leg (turns out I just dislocated the ankle), but they were thankfully able to take off my Vogel's without an issue, but there was no way in hell they were going to get those pants off over my very mangled looking ankle. I tried to convince them to put me into traction and see if it was, in fact, dislocated (I pop things out so often that I'm usually able to tell the difference once the initial pain subsides), but they insisted upon x-rays before doing anything else. I understood, but man, the pants! I literally lost $400 worth of pants in 5 seconds. And all for an ankle that just needed to be put back in place! Sadness.
      Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.

      Comment


      • #43
        Quite some time ago a friend came off at a show and double compounded her leg. Both tibia and fibula were broken. They cut that boot off.

        Turns out nothing was really holding her foot to her leg except skin, muscle, ligaments, etc. Had they pulled that boot off I shudder to think of the damage.
        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by mswillie View Post
          Quite some time ago a friend came off at a show and double compounded her leg. Both tibia and fibula were broken. They cut that boot off.

          Turns out nothing was really holding her foot to her leg except skin, muscle, ligaments, etc. Had they pulled that boot off I shudder to think of the damage.
          Yeah tall boots can be a beotch, but the worst has to be pulling them off and having your foot stay in them.
          Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

          Comment


          • #45
            I feel like my life and limbs would be a lot more important than my boots. Also I feel like if they're only cutting off one boot, then a lot of companies would remark that boot for you for a lesser price, especially if you explained the situation.
            Mendokuse

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            • #46
              Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
              Simple solution...have your boots removed while you're waiting for the ambulance or before you get in your princess transportation. I don't want to be waiting in the next bay for a doctor who is piddling around with your pricey boots!
              Really?? I thought this was a very practical solution assuming your leg/foot isn't hanging by a thread. And "princess" transportation was just a reference to you calling yourself a princess. No harm meant...sorry if I offended you. My apologies, my sense of humor didn't come across.
              Ride like you mean it.

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              • #47
                My friend had a freak fall and broke her back. While waiting in the ER she made someone take her pull-on boots off of her before the ER docs go ahold of her!

                In hindsight (she didn't know her back was broken at the time) it might not have been the smartest move, but she's had those boots for a longg time and loves them!

                ETA: I agree with OP...But I have zip-ups. So yes I would definitely be pretty pissed if they were cut off of me. In an emergency, were someone wearing pull ons, that would be a different story.

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                • #48
                  Last time I went to the emergency room after a riding accident was when I went head-first into a coop at a hunter trials. My mother- recovered from her adrenaline rush after sprinting from the top of the hill to find me still unconscious after she'd run half a mile- had the presence of mind to ensure my boots got off prior to admission. I wasn't thinking about them at the time. Although I did know it was Saturday because I was at a horse show. (It was actually Sunday, but my only memory of the fall, beyond the "Oh sh-" as I realized I was coming off, is employing the deductive reasoning to answer the usual orientation questions!)

                  I hope never to be in a position where the smartest decision would be to cut them off. But now I have zippers anyway.
                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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                  • #49
                    The last time I had a nasty fall at a horse show, being knocked unconscious and being fairly disoriented (no idea what day or month is was, I guessed I was at a horse show after looking around) I instructed my dear husband that no way in hell was I going to the ER with my boots on because I was afraid they would cut them off! So, before heading out to the ER my dutiful husband pulled my semi-custom boots off.

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                    • #50
                      I've made sure my boots were off before going to the ER 3 times now--If I'm awake and aware, and not traumatically injured, it seems a practical thing to do. I've found that ER personnel are not good at removing boots, zip up or not. My brother and his son both raced motocross (brother was a professional) and believe me, this desire to not have one's very expensive gear cut off is not unique to horse folks!

                      I do think this is a subject that you need to think about when you ride--if you need to go to the ER (either under your own power or by ambulance) what are your plans for your boots/chaps, horse/tack/trailer/car, etc.?

                      I don't recommend doing what I did: taking off one's own boots, untacking your horse, making a sling with my belt and driving myself to the ER 20 minutes away...after shattering my shoulder. Stupid.
                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                      • #51
                        Dang, I would have been happy for the ER staff to cut my boots and any other clothes off when I took my unscheduled dismount. It was January, and I was layered to the point of helpless immobility like the kid Randy in A Christmas Story. Of course, since I was lying in the ER instead of a snowbank, I was overheated. I'm also prone to claustrophobia, so my restricted movement was pushing me towards a major freakout. I got back at the staff for abandoning me, though. I went into shock and hurled instead.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #52
                          Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                          not to mention the pain and suffering of breaking them in. I am on day one of new brown field boots. You know, the day you try them on while making dinner because you haven't gotten to the point of soaking them and wearing them all day and you begin to question your sanity and realise its time to look for the heel lifts..... when I get these suckers broken in, someone better have a damned good reason that they have to be cut off. Like compound fracture of the ankle.
                          I forgot about the work that went into a nice pair of boots, besides the cost.

                          Oh, and an old friend of mine swears that her custom Vogels helped her set an ankle she didn't know she had broke. She hurt herself slipping in the manure pile (yes, wearing the custom Vogels) and didn't think much had happened.... until hours later when it still hurt enough that she decided to get it checked out. X-rays revealed a break *and* the bones lined up as they should be. By the way, these were well-measured dress boots.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post
                            What I remain bitter about is that they cut off my vest. My vest! It had a zipper! How hard would it have been to just take off of me?

                            I know it sounds petty--because it really is--but it was my favorite $10 vest from Target and I wore it all the time. I still miss it and wish they hadn't done that.
                            I completely understand. The above mentioned fall, the EMT cut off my Irideon fleece that I adored. It was a great color, super soft, perfect fit, and had a zipper that was long enough that you could take it on and off without removing your helmet. I am still sad about it 6years later. The best part? They did NOT cut off the polo underneath. I was left to deal with getting that (and the sports bra) off at 2 am all bandaged up from ER.

                            Oh...I still have the fleece and plan to sew t back together. . If only the was fairly straight it would have been done a long time ago. Instead, it all jaggedly and will take a lot of effort...which I haven't quite decided us worth it yet.
                            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Many years ago, my mother made me sign in blood that my foot size would never change again and I got custom boots.

                              Muddy hunter course, slip on corner, horse down on leg and foot. Gate person was and ER Doc and said, "Don't let them cut that boot off, it's the best splint right now and it can be x-rayed straight through."

                              Got to hospital. ER said boot had to be cut off. My mom said, "Nope, you can take the leg at the knee, but don't cut the boot." She made them x-ray with the boot on and once it was determined no major break or damage, the boot got pulled off in one piece and I got a cast.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I've never had boots come off, though I've helped a couple of friends pull theirs off while waiting for ambulances.

                                Several years ago though I fell off my horse, hurt enough to not get back on, but fine enough to take the bugger home. Got home, was hurting but mostly just itchy from the wood chips I fell in. Decided to have a shower, since I had to wait for my mom to come home whether or not I wanted to go to the hospital.

                                So several hours later I hobble into the hospital, in yoga pants. They think it's a broken pelvis and want to cut the pants off! It took 20 minutes for me to explain that since I'd gotten them on post-injury I could certainly get them back off now. Turned out I had torn about 75% of my hip flexor muscles (which apparently also explains the slow onset of pain).

                                The doctors and nurses were probably most confused that I claimed to have fallen off a horse, but had clean wet hair and basically pjs on!

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Sure, we in the ED can certainly tug your oh so expensive boots off...just as soon as you sign the release stating that no one can/will sue us when the movement of your not yet cleared c-spine renders you paralyzed. Those boots will still look pretty though. Priorities, people!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    I did tell the EMT guys to pull my boots off my leg of what I knew "something was broken in my ankle" leg. They said it would hurt, I said better to hurt me now than KILL me later watching them cut it off. Actually only hurt a bit. They did however cut my breeches up the side of the leg, but that was waaay less of an issue.
                                    Both the boots and I survived. :-)

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Every single orthopedic and ER doctor I've encountered says the same thing about horse folk: "you people are crazy!" Indeed we are. If I'm up and moving, painfully and fully aware I've broken something, then my damn boots are coming off. Thankfully, my pull on field boots are loose enough that they can be taken off without the dramatic 3 person fulcrum move, and my custom boots (swoon!) have zippers.

                                      My personal pet peeve is that, like Rugbug, the darn medical folk don't seem to use common sense about what is cut and how it is cut. The nurse in ER asked me if he could cut off my shirt (nice guy!) and I begged him to. There was no freaking way I was moving the my arm at that point. I thank God every day that I was wearing my treasured zip front sports bra that night. Otherwise, that would have been cut off, too.

                                      My Motocross brother compound fractured his leg and the ER docs were thrilled that no one had tried to remove his boot. But, those MX boots would be a serious bitch to cut off--though I'm sure they could if needed. He got his back, though it was basically a boot full of blood--GAG!!
                                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        When I was fourteen, a horse that I had just gotten on reared, flipped, and fell on me into the side of a barn. I broke my femur in half (snapped like a twig!), and I happened to be wearing custom Journeymen chaps at the time. As a side note, I think the compression of the chaps prevented the swelling from getting out of control and may have saved me from having the bone break through the muscle and skin (gross!).

                                        Anyway, when the EMTs arrived, they got out a pair of scissors and were ready to go to town. But, then, from a few feet away, the owner of the barn started running toward them yelping "ZIPPERS! ZIPPERS! They have ZIPPERS!!! Please use the zippers!" LOL! I love that woman! The EMTs used the zippers, and the chaps are still alive and well to this day...although they long for a much slimmer girl to wear them, as my 32 year old body certainly doesn't fit in them anymore, ha!

                                        They do have a long smudge where the coloring from the green piping smeared onto the medium-brown base chap color, but other than that they look no worse for the wear from that incident. I wore them for many years after that!

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Here's a question. How many people have had or have witnessed someone having their boots cut off by medical/fire professionals? I was wearing full chaps the one time I got carted off in an ambulance, and simply told the firemen/EMTs that they had zippers and they carefully zipped me out of them. I've either been driven or drove myself to the hospital the other 3 times (collarbone, ACL, shoulder/ribs) after doffing my boots.
                                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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