Wall of Pain: One ER's Extraction Collection

Photos by Jerry Cunningham

Experiencing the great outdoors occasionally comes with a dose of pain. Nothing symbolizes that better than this display at Baxter County Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Ark.

Photo of the extraction collection at Baxter County Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, AR

The ER's geographical location — between Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes and near world-class trout fishing tailwaters below those two dams — provides plenty of opportunity for close encounters of the barbed kind.

The doctors aren't exactly sure when they began accumulating these extractions, just that over the years it's grown. (Maybe that should read: "groan.")

Photo of Rapala Lures extracted from patientsIt's obvious from this portion that Rapala lures are popular in the Ozarks, but everything from spinnerbaits to grubs to a Hula Popper and a Zara Spook have ended up stuck in some unlucky angler.

Photo of a chainsaw chain and fishing luresIn the lower right is the chain from a chainsaw, ouch! But this section might hold the most fishing lures per square inch, with spoons and Rooster Tails illustrating the dangers of the trout tailwaters.

Photo of a variety of fishing lures extracted from patientsAnother example of variety, from old to new, that adorns the wall.

Photo of fish bones extracted from a patient's throatEven when you successfully catch a fish, more danger lurks at the dinner table. Someone in the ER couldn't resist a bit of humor in describing the "catch of the day."

Photo of items collected by the Baxter County Medical CenterNot all the injuries involved lures, as evidenced by the rattlesnakes preserved in formaldehyde, the broken arrows and a board with a nail sticking through it. There's also a rather large wood splinter. (We didn't ask about the details; it looked frighteningly painful.)  End of story hook

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