Blog | Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do catfish bite or do they just scratch?

I live in Oklahoma. It was bound to happen.

A patient came to our office for a "hospital follow-up" visit.

He'd been in the hospital with a severe hand infection. It had necessitated intravenous antibiotics coupled with surgical incision and drainage.

What caused his infection?

He lacerated his hand. Underwater. Muddy water. In the act of catching 20+ pound catfish. With his bare hands.

Photo by Zach Welty via Flickr and a Creative Commons licenseNoodlin'.

"Been doin' it since I was twelve," he told me. "Never had this happen before."

I started wondering about the bacterial flora of catfish bites.

He wasn't bitten, though. He'd scraped his hand on a rock reaching into a small underwater cave. That's where you find the catfish.

And catch them with your bare hands. If you're a noodler, that is.

Click here if you want to see a short video of some noodlers in action. It's called "Okie Noodling."

Remember, noodlers: No Hooks, No Bait, No Fear ...

This post by John H. Schumann, MD, FACP, originally appeared at GlassHospital. Dr. Schumann is a general internist. His blog, GlassHospital, seeks to bring transparency to medical practice and to improve the patient experience.