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Doctors remove wooden shrapnel lodged in man’s brain during mishap, save his life

 Doctors remove wooden shrapnel lodged in man’s brain during mishap, save his life


Sagaya Fernando
Mumbai: 28 October 2020                                                                                                         


Trying to avoid hitting a dog that suddenly came into his path, turned into a horrendous ordeal for a 42-year-old man in India.


As was his daily routine, on October 7, Kumar Perumal, a farmer from Mazhavanthangal village in Tamil Nadu, India, had gone to work in his field in the neighbouring village of Adukkam located around 3 kms away at morning, and was returning home at around 7 pm on his 2-wheeler. All of a sudden, a dog ran on to the road, catching him unaware. Trying to avoid hitting the dog, Kumar swerved his motorcycle, and ended up falling off the 2-wheeler on to a roadside bush.


He struck a thick wooden branch, and the force of the impact was such that the branch splintered and penetrated his left temple.


Seeing the severity of the injury, his family members rushed him to the Government Villupuram Medical College Hospital (GVMCH) located around 35 km away.


“The patient was brought to our hospital at around 10 pm on October 7 in a critical condition,” informed GVMCH Dean Dr R Kundavi Devi.


She added, “I held a meeting with the heads of the emergency department, general surgery, anaesthesia, radiology, orthopaedics, and discussed on how to safely and quickly remove the foreign body lodged in the patient’s brain.”


Radiology HoD Dr Mohanasundaram along with technician Sathish conducted the imaging of the intracranial radiolucent wooden foreign body using advanced techniques to locate the exact nature of the wound.


“Using advanced special CT scan volumetric techniques, the radiology team confirmed the radiolucent foreign body which had penetrated the left temple region of the patient's skull and had got lodged in the brain matter like a wooden arrow head,” said neurosurgeon Dr Panchatsharan Pallavan who along with his team of doctors conducted the lifesaving surgery on the patient.


“The surgery was planned in two stages. On the same day itself (October 7), the extracranial (outside the cranium) part of the wooden foreign body was removed. And, in the second stage, after stabilizing the patient, the intracranial part of the wooden shrapnel was removed safely three days later on October 10, by Ring Craniotomy procedure,” informed Dr Pallavan.


He further added, “The second stage surgery lasted for around 5 hours and the wooden shrapnel measuring 7 cm in length and 4 cm in girth was removed.”


Besides Dr Pallavan, the surgical team included Dr P A Kabilan, Dr N Soundharrajan, Dr R Suresh, Dr Gokul Kumaran, Dr Senthil Narayanan, anaesthetists Dr Dharmalingam, Dr Arivazhagan, Dr Padmarubini, nurses Ramya and Parimala.



“The patient is recovering well post-surgery. It was a complicated surgery, which needed a multi-disciplinary approach. The surgery may cost between INR 10 lakh to 15 lakh in a private hospital. GVMCH performed the surgery free of cost under the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme,” stated Dr Pallavan.

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