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Accident severs driver’s hand; doctors reattach it in 10 hours long surgery

Sumesh RajanMumbai: 29 June 2020

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In an extraordinary accomplishment especially during the unprecedented Covid-19 lockdown period, doctors in India reattached a truck driver’s hand which had got severed in an accident.

24-year-old Tanmay Das, a truck driver by profession, was driving his truck returning home at Salboni village in Medinapur district of West Bengal, India, on June 1 evening. Nearing home at around 7 pm, while driving, he put his right hand out to indicate the turn he was about to make ahead. Unfortunately, at that very moment, another truck came from the side and struck his vehicle, severing his hand a couple of inches below the wrist.

Fortunately for Das, one of the villagers picked up the severed hand and placed in a bag of crushed ice, and along with his family rushed him to Kalinga Hospital, Bhuabaneshwar in neighbouring state of Odisha, around 360 kilometers away.

“The patient was brought to our hospital at around 2.15 am on June 2. After arranging for blood, and stabilising the patient, we started the surgery to reattach his arm at 7 am. The operation was completed at around 5.30 pm,” informed Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon Dr Akshay Kumar Rout of Kalinga Hospital.

Dr Rout was assisted by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gayadhar Behera, anaesthetist Dr Karunakar and their team.

“A person from Salbani who had benefitted from my treatment for a different injury and had knowledge of how to preserve severed body parts due to the awareness camps that I had been conducting in the area before the lockdown period, guided Das and his family in how to preserve his severed hand in ice, and rushed him to the hospital,” said Dr Rout.

“I was a bit nervous while conducting the surgery, as no Covid-19 test was done on Das, as it was a case of emergency. However, the test was done later, and it has come negative,” he added.

“The surgery is a success, and the patient is now able to do mild physiotherapy by himself like squeezing a ball. After completion of one month of the surgery, we will start physiotherapy sessions on his operated hand so that he regains the full use of his hand,” said Dr Rout.

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