Doctors Reattach Man’s Hand Left Hanging On By A Thread

Story ByBartosz StaszewskiSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCEN


These shocking images show how a worker’s hand was left ‘hanging on by a thread’ in a horrific industrial accident and he has now thanked the doctors who managed to save it.

Arkadiusz Lipiec’s hand was almost severed when a 500-kilogramme (1,100-lb) metal frame fell on his wrist at work in the village of Gorzyce in south-eastern Poland’s Subcarpathian Voivodeship region.

Doctors at two local hospitals had said it was impossible to save his hand and they had recommended amputation.

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Pictures Credit: CEN/Szpital Leczna

However, surgeons at a specialist clinic, the Eastern Centre for the Treatment of Burns and Reconstructive Surgery, in the town of Leczna, in eastern Poland’s Lublin Voivodeship region, said they could help.

Arkadiusz, 24, was airlifted by helicopter to Leczna and is now recovering after undergoing a complicated eight-hour operation.

He said: “As soon as he saw what had happened, the paramedic called a dispatcher and 15 minutes later I was in a helicopter.

“Local doctors wouldn’t operate and they proposed amputation. The doctors at Leczna are miracle workers. Thanks to them, I have my hand. There are no words to thank them.”

Dr Sergej Antonov, who carried out the surgery, said Arkadiusz’s hand had been hanging on by only two shattered joints when he was brought into the hospital.

He said it had been a huge challenge to precisely reattach all of the severed veins, nerves and bones.

Dr Antonov said: “The difficulty was that everything was torn up, it was necessary to reconnect it all.”

Two weeks later, the doctors are confident the operation has been a success as Arkadiusz is already able to move his fingers a little.

Dr Antonov added: “For now, we don’t allow the patient to move his hand. The bones have to get stronger and it will take at least a month. Then he can start intensive rehabilitation.”

Bartosz Staszewski

I am a journalist and correspondent mainly covering Poland and Eastern Europe.

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