Friday, January 25, 2013

Delhi docs give second life to man’s ‘ lost fingers’

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/showtext.aspx?boxid=33312515&parentid=76631&issuedate=2612013
Delhi docs give second
life to man’s ‘ lost fingers’
By Neetu Chandra in New Delhi
THE only breadwinner of his family, Om Pal, while working in his factory in Uttarakhand’s Tanakpur town, looks at his right hand and thanks the doctors of a Delhi hospital for restoring it.
In September 2012, he met with an accident in the factory in which all fingers of his right hand were crushed badly. His colleagues rushed him to a nearby hospital where doctors advised amputation of his hand. Unwilling for such a major decision, he visited three more hospitals but doctors there gave him similar advices.
Om Pal had started thinking of the unexpected hardships of life in future. “ I still had my hopes floating, so I decided to go to Delhi. I wanted to save my hand as I have a family. Without my fingers, I would have been left with no choice of employment,” he said.
“ I boarded a bus and travelled all the way to the Capital. I wrapped my hand in a clean cloth. I ate well and drank enough water to remain conscious.
It took five hours to reach Delhi,” the 42- year- old said.
Om Pal landed in Fortis hospital’s emergency ward. “ The patient came to us around 1 am with his hand bleeding profusely . As he had lost a lot of blood, we had to transfuse at least four units of blood to him immediately... Time was a major factor for the patient as he kept his fingers properly wrapped. After the accident we had already lost six hours, so we started with the thumb,” said Dr Rajat Gupta, associate consultant, plastic and reconstructive surgery, Fortis hospital.
“ As we were taking fingers one by one, we started working on the index finger after the thumb and then the other two fingers.
Unfortunately we could not recover the little finger because all the arteries were dead and the bones turned into powder. Moreover, we had lost more than 10 hours by the time we got to the little finger,” he said.
Doctors constructed the fingers with micro- vascular surgery.
They stitched them with stitches thinner than hair. They improved the blood circulation in the digits by reconstructing tendons, bones and nerves.
Doctors have said Om Pal, after the surgery, would never have a problem.
“ There will be no infection in his digits. He will be able to use his hand as before. The patient has got his sensation back in digits.
Now after three months, Om Pal has rejoined work and does all the tasks that he previously used to do without any difficult,” said Dr Gupta.
Dr Puneet Jain from orthopedics department, who was also part of the team that performed the surgery, said: “ This case was rare and complex because reconstructing the crushed fingers was a difficult task. There are many veins and arteries that are difficult to join and revive the digits.”
Uttarakhand doctors advised amputation of Om Pal’s hand. He travelled to Delhi for five hours and underwent a 10 hour surgery to get his digits sewn back
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