More Hand Drill Brain Surgery

May 20, 2009 § 1 Comment

Nicholas Rossi (13) after the emergency craniotomy.

Nicholas Rossi (13) after the emergency craniotomy.

A year ago I wrote a post on a British neurosurgeon who regularly travelled to Ukraine to operate, having to use a household hand drill for the craniotomies due to a lack of surgical equipment in the country. This week, a doctor in rural Australia saved a boy’s life using the same kind of tool.

BBC reports that 13-year-old Nicholas Rossi was rushed to the local hospital after falling off his bike and injuring his head. The GP on duty, Rob Carson, soon realized that blood was collecting in the boy’s cranium, putting fatal pressure on his brain. The hospital was not equipped with any neurosurgical instruments, so when Dr. Carson decided to do an emergency craniotomy to relieve the pressure, he had to use a hand drill.

And if that was not enough, Dr. Carson, who had no experience with this kind of surgery, had to call a neurosurgeon in Melbourne and have him talk him through the procedure. The battery didn’t go flat, the surgery was successful and the boy transferred to a hospital in Melbourne for recovery. He was released this Tuesday.

A short video is available at BBC News.

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