Don’t Fall Victim to ‘Avocado Hand,’ Stay Safe Cutting the Superfood

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UNITED STATES  --  First there was "bagel hand," when people were accidentally slicing into their hands while trying to open a bagel; now, make way for "avocado hand."

As NBC's Erika Edwards reports, emergency room doctors say this really is a danger.

Once shunned for its high fat content, the avocado is now revered in kitchens across America for its amazing heart-health benefits.

But this guacamole-starter's place in the spotlight may be spoiling. Just ask anyone who's tried to cut open the green fruit, slicing right through their hand instead.

"You can injure anything from tendons to nerves to blood vessels," said Dr. Thomas Waters of the Cleveland Clinic's Emergency Department.

One problem is the slippery pit found in the middle. People tend to use a big knife to take it out, and if the avocado is really ripe the knife may slip right through the skin.

It has been reported that one plastic surgeon in the U.K. suggested the problem is so bad that avocados should come with warning labels. No doctors NBC News talked to said the warnings should go quite that far, but they did offer some safety tips.

First, don't hold anything you're trying to cut; instead, place it on a cutting board. If you must hold it, put a folded towel between the fruit and your hand.

Second, sharpen your knives.

"A very sharp knife is actually safer," said Dr. Water. "It's more accurate and you're able to do what you need to do. It's actually the dull knives that lead to injuries."

The potential for long-term injury is real. Deep cuts to nerves or tendons can take weeks or months to heal.

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