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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Man impaled by stool leg lives to tell the tale Rod Snapped Vertebrae, But Stopped Short Of Main Artery

Mumbai: A man fell on an upturned stool, a leg of which pierced his back,snappedhis vertebrae, injured his nerves but stopped just short of the aorta, the main artery. The metal rod lodged in his back, he travelled for four hours early on Tuesday, conscious all along, before a hospital could take up his case and pull it out. Andhehaslivedtotellthetale. 

    Zakir Shaikh, a 45-year-old resident of Panvel, is recovering attheintensivecareunitof Sion hospital.Associate professor Dr Muqtadeer Ansari said there's noimmediatedanger to his life but the long term repercussions of the spine injury have to be gauged. Head of surgery Dr Meena Kumar,too,said thoughhissurvivalwas miraculous, there may be injuries to his neck and other vessels that will nowhavetobelookedinto. 
    For Shaikh'sfamily,itishis second life. "We are hoping he will recover fast, now that he has beaten death once," said hisbrother Rahim. 

    Shaikh's duties as a security guard at a chemical firm includedchecking if theconsignments brought by trucks had been offloaded. In the early hoursof Tuesday,while getting off a truck, he slipped and fell on the upturned stool. To the horror of hiscoworkers,oneof its rusted legs impaled his back, making a cracking sound. 
    Asthey wouldfindoutlater, the rod penetrated his spine and fractured the vertebrae. Luckily, the rod as well as the broken pieces of the vertebrae stopped just a few millimetres short of the aorta, the main vessel carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Any injury to the aorta could havekilledhim on thespot. 
    His colleagues rushed him with the stool dangling at his backtothe nearby MGMhospital in Kalamboli at around 3am, where they were told the hospital was not equipped to handle such a case. The doc
tors, however, sawed off portionsof thestool. With5inches of the rod inside him, he was taken to Sion hospital at around6am,whereheimmediately underwent radiological tests, including CT scan, angiography and ultrasonography of the abdomen. 
    Four departments of the civic-run Sion Hospital — orthopaedics, surgery, anaesthesia and cardiovascular-thoracic — quickly came together to operate on him. The biggest challenge at this stage for the anaesthetists was to intubate 
the patient, who was lying on his chest. 
    Calling it a very unusual case, Dr Arvind Goregaonkar, head of orthopaedics, said their priority was to see if any of his main vessels were injured. "We openedhis abdomen andtracked the tip of the object. We found that it had not damaged any of the structures," he said. The doctors then pulled out the rod from the back by widening the injury site. He said the decision of his rescuers to not pull out the stool actually saved him more blood loss and pain. 

2am, Tuesday | Security guard with a chemical company falls off a truck during a routine check and lands on a stool turned upside down 
3am | Rushed to hospital in Kalamboli. It cuts off portion of the stool, refers patient to Sion hospital 
5.30-6am | Reaches Sion hospital with 5 inches of the stool's leg inside him 
11.30am | Doctors begin surgery that lasts a little more than an hour 

Iron stool leg penetrates man's spine Breaks his vertebrae and pierces nerves Stops a few millimetres from aorta, the main artery supplying blood from heart 
    Team comprises doctors from orthopaedic, surgery, anaesthesia and cardiovascular thoracic surgery 
    Anaesthetists face major challenge in intubating patient as he is lying on his chest 
    Incision made in abdomen to reach the tip of the rod and probe damage caused 
    Finding aorta and other vital organs intact, doctors make incision at the back and pull out the object 
They remove pieces of the broken vertebrae creating pressure on aorta

Doctors say man lucky his aorta wasn't touched and no one tried to pull out the stool as both could've killed him


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