A construction worker in China has miraculously survived after a steel rod speared through his head when he was at work.
The 41-year-old man was impaled last month by the metal stick, which measured five feet (1.5 metres) in length and 1.2 inches (three centimetres) in diametre, reported the People’s Daily Online.
Doctors from Chongqing managed to remove the rod and saved the man after a four-hour-long surgical operation.
According to the report, the accident occurred in Chongqing on February 27 when the worker, known as Wang Long (not his real name), tried to loosen up a concrete slab during work. He was taken to the city’s Southwest Hospital immediately.
Liu Minghua, the assistant chief at the Accidents and Emergency Department, called his team to plan an operation. However, they failed to give Wang a CT scan as the steel rod was too long to pass through the machine.
The doctors decided to call the fire department and asked the firefighters to cut the rod so that the patient could undergo the scan. Apparently, it took a bit of an effort for the firefighters to shorten the rod.
At first, they tried to use a hydraulic cutter, but the metal rod was too thick to cut through. Then the doctors suggested the firefighters get an acetylene cutting torch. The firefighters feared the metal could heat up too quickly and end up hurting Wang’s neck.
To resolve the issue, medical workers used ice packs and ice water to cool down the rod as the others cut it down.
The rod was eventually shortened to 21 inches.
Dr Liu said the steel rod had caused compression on Wang’s airway and the man needed an emergency operation to have the rod removed.
Professor Xiang Qiang and assistant professor Chen Xiangyu, both of whom were involved in the operation, told the reporters that the rod had made it difficult for them to put an oxygen mask or a breathing tube on Wang.
As a result, they had to tilt and held his head midair until the surgery was over.
Doctors said the rod had gone into Wang’s fourth cervical vertebra as well as his thyroid cartilage area and poked out from his lower occipital bone.
‘There is a hole in Wang’s internal jugular vein and the rod has spiked his maxillary artery. We did a 3,000ml blood transfusion in the four-hour-long surgery,’ explained Professor Xiang.
He said Wang could have died if the rod had been lodged 0.8 inches (two centimetres) higher, which means it would have pierced through his head.
Wang has passed the critical stage and the man is now in recovery, said the report.