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Miles O’Brien: PBS reporter has arm amputated, uses dark humor about incident

Miles O'Brien had arm amputated after minor injury turns life threatening.
Miles O'Brien had arm amputated after minor injury turns life threatening.Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Miles O’Brien, a PBS science correspondent, had his arm amputated after a seemingly minor injury. While securing an equipment case on assignment in Asia, the case fell and clipped his left arm, according to MSN Entertainment News on Feb. 26.

O’Brien said about the case falling on his arm, “"It hurt, but I wasn't all '911' about it." It swelled up the next day and he sought medical treatment. He was diagnosed with a rare condition called “acute compartment syndrome,” where the blood flow gets blocked in an enclosed space in the body and it can be a life-threatening condition.

While under surgery to have this fixed O’Brien lost blood pressure and the doctor made the choice of saving “life or limb” and the limb went. He had his arm amputated just above the elbow, said O’Brien. He appears to have come to terms with his amputation, taking to social media with a little bit of dark humor about his amputation recently. O’Brien wrote:

"Life is all about playing the hand that is dealt you. Actually, I would love somebody to deal me another hand right about now -- in more ways than one.”