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Man survives piece of wood stuck in brain

22-year-old carpenter was working at a construction site when a fragment of wood hit him on the head, entering into his brain matter and compressing it; team of neurosurgeons at KEM Hospital extracted the splinter
 
When 22-year-old Vinod Pal was wheeled into KEM hospital's emergency unit on Monday afternoon, he was not a sight for sore eyes. Nurses, ward boys, patients and even doctors did a double take at the sight of a bloody piece of wood jutting out of his skull.



Inspections revealed that the wooden piece had pierced Pal's head, entering the brain matter and compressing it.

On Monday afternoon, Pal -- a carpenter -- was working on the eighth floor of an under-construction building in Badlapur. He was trying to separate a cluster of bamboo sticks, when a thick piece of wood used to support the bamboos hit Pal's head, penetrating it.

A native of Uttar Pradesh, Pal's search for employment had brought him to the shores of Mumbai just six months ago. After the accident, he was put in an auto by his co-workers and taken to a local hospital.

"The doctors at the hospital took a CT scan and informed us that the splinter had entered his brain, and advised that we take him to KEM hospital. We did not suspect that it was such a serious matter. He seemed fine on his way to the hospital," said Govind Pal, who witnessed the accident.


Head turner: The big splinter had fractured Vinod Pal's skull, piercing
the dura mater covering the brain, and entering the brain substance,
exposing him to extensive infection, apart from the risk of paralysis


By Monday evening, Vinod was conveyed to KEM hospital, where doctors immediately took him to the Operation Theatre, after evaluating the nature of his injuries.

"The big splinter had fractured his skull, piercing the dura mater covering the brain, and entering the brain substance, which can expose him to extensive infection, apart from the risk of paralysis. It could have been fatal if it had gone in any deeper," said Dr A K Gvalani, head of the surgery department of KEM hospital, adding that a team of neurosurgeons had operated on Pal.

Recollecting the incident, Pal said, "I was working as I do on any other day, when suddenly the piece of wood flew into the air and hit my head. Till the surgery was performed on me, I didn't know that the wooden piece had penetrated my brain. I am thankful to God and the doctors who saved me."

"A lot of wooden dust had spread in the brain matter, all of which was removed during the surgery to avoid further infection. We removed the wooden piece which had fractured the skull, and elevated the depression caused in the brain by it," said Ragvendra Ramdasi, resident doctor from the Neurosurgery department.

Meanwhile, Dr Nimisha Kantharia, lecturer of Surgery, said, "The patient had complained of right side weakness, and we have already put him on antibiotics to control infection, if any. We were all shocked to see the patient with this kind of injury. He is fortunate to have escaped death."

At present, Pal is admitted under Dr Sameer Rege, unit head of the Surgery department.

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