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Doctors remove brush cutter blade from man's chest in south Taiwan


南台灣醫生從一名男子的胸部取出除草機刀片


6-cm metal fragment became lodged in man's chest close to his heart, great vessels


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Surgeons successfully removed a 6-centimeter blade fragment that was dangerously close to a man's heart after it had become lodged in his chest during a freak accident with a weed trimmer, saving his life.

In a press release issued on Tuesday (Jan. 17), Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital stated that a 63-year-old man surnamed Lin (林) was asked by a friend to help clear weeds with a metal-bladed brush cutter in Chiayi County's Minsyong Township a few days ago. Lin said that he had many years of experience operating weed trimmers and whenever he operates such equipment, he is careful to wear thick rubber boots, a half-length apron, eye protection, and a face mask.

However, Lin accidentally swung the brush cutter into a large rock, shattering a chunk off one of the metal blades, which flew into his chest. He suddenly felt a sharp pain in his chest but was not sure of the cause.

He quickly put away his tools and drove to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Doctors found that he had a 2 cm wound in his chest and decided that he should be transferred to Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital.

Chen I-chung (陳奕中), a thoracic (chest) surgeon at the hospital, said that although he was bleeding, his breathing, pulse, and state of consciousness were all normal. After taking X-rays and CT scan images, a 6-cm blade was clearly visible in the mediastinum cavity, lodged in front of the heart and its great vessels.

Chen pointed out that if the sharp metal fragment moved a little more, it could have punctured the heart or great blood vessels, resulting in massive bleeding and death. During the process of transporting the patient to the operating room, great care was taken to ensure that large-scale movement and compression of the wound were minimized.

After Chen determined the optimal method to extract the object with Chang Chien-hua (張兼華), director of the hospital's cardiovascular surgery department, the blade was successfully removed.

Lin was admitted to the intensive care unit for observation after the operation and received treatment to prevent any infections. His condition was listed as stable before he was released from the hospital and allowed to recuperate at home.

Chen reminded the public that if a person is accidentally cut by a farm tool, the bacteria in the soil may cause infection. Therefore, he recommended that injured persons go to a hospital for cleaning and debridement treatment.

If there is a puncture injury, Chen urged people to not pull out the foreign object immediately. Instead, a simple bandage should be placed on the wound and immediate medical treatment should be sought to enable physicians to remove the object.
 
Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer  
2023-01-18  

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