Story By: John Feng, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report
Video Credit: AsiaWire
These images show a six-foot metal bar inside a builder’s chest after it impaled him and came out his back before medics removed it and saved his life.
The patient Mr Zhang, 45, reportedly lost his footing at a building site in Zibo, a city in East China’s Shandong Province, and fell several feet before landing on the ribbed reinforced steel bar.
Zhang Dawei, with the emergency department of Zibo Central Hospital, attended to Mr Zhang and did the initial trauma assessment,
Pictures Credit: AsiaWire
He said: “The patient had been impaled in the right armpit by a 5-centimetre (2-inch) thick ribbed steel bar, which went straight through his chest and lung, narrowly missing his major arteries, before coming out his back near the right shoulder blade.”
The medics called firefighters who were then asked to shear off some of the protruding sections of the bar which reportedly measured two metres (6.56 feet).
Doctor Zhang said: “They shortened it as much as possible. They left about 10 centimetres (4 inches) protruding from his back and roughly the same by his armpit.
“We decided not to allow the firemen to shorten the rebar any further, because as they were cutting it, the patient’s wound began bleeding heavily.”
Mr Zhang was assigned priority status and was wheeled into the an operating theatre straight from the emergency department.
The high-risk surgery was carried out by cardiothoracic surgeon Zhao Kai and his team, who spent more than five hours cutting open his chest, inspecting the area for any damage, and then slowly pulling the rebar out.
Doctor Zhao said: “Due to all the vital organs and major arteries around where the steel bar was resting, we were concerned that removing it would cause serious secondary injuries, including fatal bleeding.
“We ground off all the sharp edges and very slowly pulled it out, and fortunately the patient didn’t lose too much blood.”
Li Hui, an anaesthesiologist pictured resting on one knee next to the operating table, said: “We usually administer anaesthetics while the patient is lying on their back, with airways properly exposed and accessible.
“However, as the patient had a steel bar in his body, it was too painful for him to adjust his posture, so I moved and bent over, kneeling on the floor.”
Zibo Central Hospital said its doctors had “snatched the worker from the jaws of death” in the rare medical case.
The workman is continuing his recovery at the facility, and it is unclear when he can expect to be discharged.