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Doctor uses power drill to save boy’s life


The guys and gals over at Gizmodo are running a special at the moment on When Machines Go Bad. Well, this is a story of how the wrong machines can do good in the right hands.

Last Friday the 15th, 13 year old Nicholas Rossi from Maryborough (170 km North West of Melbourne, Australia) fell off his bike and banged his head. He was knocked out for 30 seconds but got up and seemed fined. His mum (a nurse) decided he had better get checked out and while he was in hospital he started having spasms and bouts of unconsciousness.

The local GP recognised bleeding on the brain but didn’t have the training or the tools to relieve the cranial pressure and the delay in flying him to Melbourne may have left him with brain damage. So the GP did what any other Aussie guy or gal with a problem would do. He rang someone who knew what to do and improvised with what he could find.

With instructions from a neurosurgeon in Melbourne, an anesthetist, and using an ordinary rechargeable DeWalt power drill from the hospital’s maintenance cupboard, the doctor drilled into the boy’s skull to relieve the pressure and let the blood clot out. He then enlarged the hole and stuck a tube in to let it drain before transferring to a larger hospital. Four days later, Nicholas was released just in time for his 13th birthday. How’s that for improvisation?

[Via the Sydney Morning Herald]

Tags: power+drill+saves+boy

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