Doctors fix man's arm after dye machine snaps it in two

Jan 16, 2014, 11:51 IST | Anuradha Varanasi

Raja Singh was cleaning the machine when a colleague switched it on; while doctors were anticipating amputation, prompt action by his colleagues and an emergency surgery saved the limb

In a freak accident, a 20-year-old man nearly lost his left arm after it got caught in a dye-mixing machine, while he was cleaning it. Against all odds, however, doctors have managed to salvage the arm and save it from being amputated. Recuperating from the two surgeries he underwent, young Raja Singh still can’t believe his luck, and even the doctors treating him say it is nothing short of a miracle that they could avoid amputation.

Shiva Singh, Raja’s cousin, holds up an X-ray that clearly shows how the humerus snapped into two after the accident; Raja recuperating in hospital
Shiva Singh, Raja’s cousin, holds up an X-ray that clearly shows how the humerus snapped into two after the accident; Raja recuperating in hospital


On December 30, Singh was busy cleaning up a 10-ft-long dye-mixing machine in his employer’s factory at Roha in Raigad, when tragedy struck. “He was working the night shift, and his supervisor told him to clean the machine. When he started with the work, the mixing machine was switched on, causing his left arm to almost be chopped off,” said Shiva Singh, his cousin, who also works at the factory. “On hearing him scream for help, his colleagues rushed to free his shirt from the machine and rushed him to the local hospital, from where he was taken to KEM Hospital,” he added.

Singh added that after the mishap, his supervisor, whose name Raja doesn’t recall, fled from the scene. While Raja’s upper arm bone (humerus) had snapped into two, the blood flow to his arm was cut off as his blood vessels had also ruptured. “The patient was at high risk of contracting gangrene, and hence prompt action was a must. Our orthopaedic team and cardiovascular thoracic surgeons had to implement a multi-disciplinary action to first restore the blood flow to his arm and carry out the bone and tissue stabilisation,” said Dr Pradeep Bhosale, head of the orthopaedic department at KEM hospital.

On the same night, Raja first underwent an emergency operation. Another operation was conducted on January 5 to save his left arm. “We then inserted a metal plate and wire implants in his upper arm, which will be removed after his bones begin to heal and become aligned again.

It is no less than a miracle that his arm was saved,” added Dr Bhosale. “It is only by God’s grace that his arm was saved. While his company is making arrangements for his medicines and treatment, Raja is anxious to resume work, as he used to send home money every month,” said Dusarat, his father, who is a native of Uttar Pradesh, adding, “I’d requested him not to work in Roha, which is 13,000 km away from home.

However, since he was earning Rs 9,000 a month and could provide for his five other siblings, he was adamant on working there,” he added. While no police complaint was filed, the Singhs said that the on-duty supervisor, who is suspected to have switched the machine on, is still absconding. Doctors say that Raja will regain full use of his arm in six months to a year, following physiotherapy.

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