Doctors remove 2 rods to save African student

Though the 23-year-old IT student from Ivory Coast, Quatttara Adoma, is still not out of danger, doctors at AIIMS Jai Prakash Narayan apex trauma centre said he is “haemodynamically stable,” indicating that his blood circulation is fine.

Two thick iron rods weighing 15 kg and 5 ft long ran through the right hand and chest of Adoma after his vehicle hit the truck. Both rods entered him from the front breaking the windscreen. They pierced through the African student, who was on the driving seat and emerged from the back.

One of the rods pinned his hand to the chest, severely damaging his ribcage and chest walls.

The impact of the collision was so much that the rods not only pierced Adoma who was driving the car but also went through the thigh of his friend Cheicko who sat right behind him at the rear side. Two other passengers in the car were safe.

Unable to extricate the injured from the car, the Delhi police used a heavy duty crane to bring the entire car with victims inside to the trauma centre. “It was a good decision by the police. It minimised blood loss,” said M C Mishra, head of the trauma centre.

The rumbled car with gory victims with iron rods jutting out of the chest of one of them shocked the doctors. “I never saw such an accident. It was shocking when the police brought the car around 4.25 am,” said Lalan Kumar, a young doctor who was on night duty.

The IV lines were put while the patients were still in the damaged car. Its roof and the driving side were cut open to remove the victims. Doctors first took out the rods from Cheicko’s thigh, which proved to be relatively easy, as saving Adoma was the greatest challenge for them.

Four-hour surgery

Administering anaesthesia to Adoma was one of the first things they had to tackle, as it had to be performed with the patient in the sitting position and without the doctors knowing his blood-gas status. In the end, a 25-strong team of doctors, nurses and technicians conducted the four-hour operation to remove the rods and to repair the damaged lung, rib cage and thoracic walls.

“The operation required 33 bottles of blood and blood products. After the operation he was given 15 bottles more. Such a massive blood transfusion also poses a serious risk,” said Amit Gupta, one of the surgeons.

Pieces of his clothing entered his body along with the rod, most of which was also removed in the operation. “That is a cause for concern too as it can lead to infections. The patient’s condition is very critical,” said Manish Singhal, another surgeon.

The trauma centre had a similar experience in 2008 when south Delhi-resident Supratim Datta was also impaled by a rod in a freak accident. While it was just one rod, doctors were to deal with two rods in the African student’s case.

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