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In a challenging surgery, doctors save 9-year-old boy spiked on jaw by a metre long iron rod

The hooked rod had pierced his chin, with the tip of the hook coming out of his mouth penetrating through the floor of the mouth and tongue


Sagaya Fernando
Mumbai: 2 December 2019

On October 15 at around 7.15 am, 9-year-old Ayush clambered atop a stool to take a towel put to dry on a clothesline at his home at Ayyapuram village near Palakkad town, Kerala, India. Leaning to grab the towel, the stool slipped, and he fell on a hooked iron rod – which was being used as part of a traditional cloth cradle. The sharp hook end of the road pierced through his lower jaw leaving him in pain and trauma.

Ayush’s family members rushed him with the dangling rod to the Government District Hospital at Palakkad – located around 3 kms from their residence, where the doctors advised them to take the boy to the better equipped Government Medical College Hospital at Thrissur which is about 75 kms away. However seeing the boy writhing in pain, and not waste time any further, the parents rushed him to the privately-managed Lakshmi Hospital located just 2 km downtown.

At Lakshmi Hospital, a team of doctors led by general surgeon Dr Praveen V A stabilized the boy, and began the challenging surgery at 8.30 am – within one and half hours of the incident.

“It was quite difficult to do major investigations since the movement of the rod will traumatize the boy further. The one-metre long iron rod had pierced his chin, with the tip of the hook coming out of his mouth penetrating through the floor of the mouth and tongue,” said Dr Praveen.

Ayush was lucky that the rod did not hurt the blood vessels to the brain or the windpipe.

“The rod was lodged very close to the trachea and major blood vessels going to the brain,” he added.

“The main challenge was in giving anesthesia to the young patient. Nevertheless, we conducted the surgery and succeed in removing the rod without causing any harm to the trachea and the major blood vessels. It was such a sensitive and delicate surgery that even a minor glitch could have ended in a disaster for the boy. The surgery lasted about one and half hours,” said Dr Praveen.

Dr. Praveen was assisted by anesthesiologist Dr Venugopal V C.

Ayush was discharged from the hospital on October 17. His wounds have healed now, and he is back to playful self, said Dr Praveen.


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