The teen who survived a shot into the heart is one of very few people who survived a direct hit into the heart. Only three people in the world have so far survived a direct nail gun shot to the heart, reports Sky News on Jan. 13, 2013.
In the United States, tens of thousands of workers or home-improvement enthusiasts get seriously injured by accidental nail gun shots. Reading about how and why the teen survived a direct nail gun shot to the heart might save someone else’s life.
The 19-year-old Argentinian teen whose heart was pierced by a three-inch nail survived because no one tried to remove the nail prematurely.
After the 19-year-old teen, who is a carpenter, was accidentally shot by a coworker while working in a wooden pallet factory in Canuelas, Buenos Aires, he was immediately taken to the El Cruce Nestor Kirchner Hospital.
At the hospital, doctors took an X-ray which showed that the nail had gone straight through the heart muscle and had stopped in one of the heart’s chambers.
If the hospital doctors would have tried to pull out the nail, the teen would have died.
During the more than two-hour operation, the challenge for the doctors was not to remove the nail, which acted as a stopper, and accidentally cause a hemorrhage.
Instead of pulling out the nail from the 19-year-old teen’s heart, doctors opened up the teen’s breast bone in order to remove the nail.
It was only through carefully opening up the breast bone that doctors could get a clear picture of the specific location of the three-inch nail in the teen’s heart. Sky News reports that according to lead surgeon Dr. Marcelo Nahin, the 19-year-old teen is recovering well.
While the teen who survived the shot to the heart is on the road to recovery, the teen’s story is a crucial reminder for everyone that foreign objects that accidentally penetrate someone’s body should not be removed because it could cause a bleeding out. Patients should always remain as still as possible to prevent a foreign object from doing any further damage.
Most First Aid classes teach that foreign objects like nails, knives, sticks, or rods should never be pulled from someone’s body but, at the most, only be secured.
The American Red Cross offers classes for several different categories like “Babysitting, Childcare, Bloodborne Pathogens, Emergency Preparedness, First Aid, CPR, AED for Lay Responders, HIV/AIDS Prevention Education, Lifeguarding, Small Craft Safety, Swimming Lessons, Water Safety Education, Family Care Giving,” and even Pet First Aid throughout the nation. Available classes can be found by zip code and category through the American Red Cross take-a-class search website.
Taking even just a short weekend First Aid class to learn how to handle penetrating foreign objects, like in the story of the teen who survived the shot into the heart, might make a difference in someone else’s emergency situation.
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