Doctors Say More People Landing In ER Because Of Do-It-Yourself Projects

LOS ANGELES (CBS2) — There are plenty of cable TV shows and magazines advocating do-it-yourself projects around the house, but health care professionals say people don’t realize the risks involved.

Angie Hicks, of online service directory Angie’s List, spoke with CBS2’s Suzie Suh about “Do-It-Yourself Dangers.”

“When it comes to electrical, you can burn your house down, plumbing can lead to flooding and we hear too many stories of people falling from the roof,” Hicks said.

Dr. Russ Kino hears those same stories at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. He says at least five percent of his patients are in the emergency room for injuries related to do-it-yourself projects. The majority of those are eye injuries.

The doctor said many of the injuries happened while patients were “working on the lights or fixtures in the ceiling…inhalational injuries when they’re combining different cleaning fluids…back injuries, lifting heavy objects.”

Hicks said many people are, literally, taking matters into their own hands to save money. She said it can cost them in the long run, if they get injured and have to pay for medical bills, or if they mess up the project and have to call a professional in to fix it.

Experts suggest DIY-ers should ask themselves the following:

— Do you know what you’re doing?

— Do you have the time?

— Do you have the right tools to do the project?

— Do you have the right protective equipment?

Kino suggests that those who have a weak back wear a brace and, if a ladder is being used, get someone to hold it.

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