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Doctors save woman hit on face with a flying pressure cooker whistle

Doctors save woman hit on face with a flying pressure cooker whistle
The metallic object had pierced her skull through the eye

Sumesh Rajan
Mumbai: 9 September 2019

In a complex surgery carried out by doctors at Ranchi city in India, the life a 57-year-old woman -- whose skull was pierced by a flying pressure cooker whistle – was saved.

Munda Birsi of Murhu village in Khunti district of Jharkhand, India, was preparing food at her home on September 4 afternoon when the freak accident took place. She was taken to a local hospital where the doctors provided first aid and recommended that she be taken to a better equipped super-specialty hospital. The next day, the patient’s family members took her to Bhagwan Mahavir Medica Super Specialty Hospital at Booty More in Ranchi, located about 56 kilometers north of the village.

“The woman was cooking dal (pulses) in a pressure cooker. After putting the cooker on the gas stove, she got busy cutting hay with the help of a hay cutter in her back yard. The cooking whistle sound of the pressure cooker got drowned by the noisy hay cutter machine. After an hour, she remembered about the cooker and rushed to the kitchen. And, while she was taking the pressure cooker off the gas stove, the boiling steam inside the cooker burst the whistle with full force, piercing the woman’s face and got stuck deep inside the skull bone that separate the eyes from the brain,” informed Dr Anindya Anuradha, Head of the Ophthalmology Department of Bhagwan Mahavir Medica Super Specialty Hospital.

She further added, “The patient, who had bled profusely and was unconscious, was admitted to our hospital on September 5 evening. And, the surgery to extricate the metallic object lodged in her frontal bone structure of the skull was conducted on September 6. In the complex surgery, we could save her life, but not her left eye.”

Oculoplastic Surgeon Dr Ashish Joy Soren who conducted the complex surgery, said, “We primarily treated her with intravenous antibiotics and painkillers as the injury was two days old and the whistle was densely adhered to the surrounding tissues. The metallic whistle was stuck between the left eye and bridge of the nose and had damaged some tissues. Firstly we had to release adhesions around the whistle and ensure that no bleeding should occur while extricating the metallic object. We had kept backup plans if blood would spurt. It was a bit difficult to pull out the whistle as vigorous maneuver would damage the surrounding tissues. We gently pulled the whistle and packed the wound opening with the gauze pieces.”

The size of the whistle was bigger than a bullet. It was around 70 millimeters in length and 20 millimeters in diameter and was stuck in such a way that it was not visible from outside. A CT scan showed the metallic object lodged between her eyes and brain.

The surgery was successful and we could save the life of woman, though her left eye could not be saved, said Dr Soren.

The patient made a quick recovery and fast discharged on September 7, said the doctor


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