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BRADENTON, FL (June 13th, 2018) – They call it “avocado hand” and as the low-carb, healthy fat fruit gains popularity, emergency rooms are seeing more of this injury.

“Over the past few years, our clinic has seen an increase in patients who sustain deep painful cuts to the hand while trying to cut an avocado.” shared Director of Burn Services & Clinic, Pariss Clark, “They typically all have one mistake in common, holding the avocado in the palm of their hand while they cut.”

While community members can find many ways to cut an avocado on a quick internet search, Plastic Surgeon, Michael VanVliet, MD with Blake Medical Center’s Plastic and Hand Clinic shares the below tips to help potentially avoid injury.

Step 1: Put the avocado down! Always place the avocado on a cutting board with the smaller end up. Hold the fruit on the side so that your fingers will not be under the knife at any time. Slowly and carefully start cutting from the tip of the avocado to the pit.

Step 2: Cut, then cut again! With the knife still in the tip of the avocado, rotate the fruit (keeping fingers clear) until you have cut once all the way around. This is where most directions stop. But the California Avocado Commission method has you turn the avocado and make a second cut in the same manner—diving the avocado into 4 pieces instead of two.

Step 3: Twist, Peel and Enjoy! After the avocado is cut into quarters, gently twist to release the quarters from the pit. The last quarter might need some more help to release, but with the fruit in quarters, you can easily grab the pit for leverage. The quarter sections are also much easier to peel. Never strike the pit with a knife – ever.

Blake Medical Center reminds community members that no matter which avocado-slicing technique you prefer, plan for safety first. Always cut slowly and never place the avocado in your hand when cutting. Don’t forget to eliminate any distraction while handling a sharp knife.

About Blake Medical Center

Blake Medical Center is a 383-bed, acute-care, full service hospital and a leading provider of quality, affordable healthcare serving our community since 1973. Blake offers a wide range of healthcare services including a Level II Trauma Center, burn care center, open-heart surgery, cancer care, joint replacement, back surgery and rehabilitation among many others. Blake is pleased to provide free health education, screenings and support groups to improve the health of our community. For more information on hospital services, events or a free physician referral, call 1-888-359-3552.