There is, however, damage to the right lobe of the construction worker’s brain where the rod went right through the cranium, and the left side of his body is paralysed. He was brought to Flores Hospital by co-workers at the construction site, hospital officials told TOI. The rod that did the damage was a long one, the kind used in scaffoldings. Before the injured worker was taken to hospital, the rest of the rod was cut at the accident spot.
The worker, whose name is being withheld following a request from the hospital to maintain the patient’s confidentiality, is from Jharkhand. On July 31, he was working at the construction site in Pratap Vihar when the rod came off the shuttering when it was being dismantled.
As other workers shouted at him to move away, the labourer looked up. By the time he could react, the rod – which workers who brought him to the hospital claimed was 20 feet – it had struck him and speared through the skull.
Dr Abhinav Gupta, the neurosurgeon who conducted the surgery on July 31 with a team of seven doctors, said the patient had a 90% chance of survival but would need a few more operations. One of those will be to restore the skull bone. “The four-hour surgery was a challenge. I had to open half the skull to separate the iron rod from the bone. The toughest part was to remove the iron rod from the brain without doing any further damage to it. The skull bone has now been kept under the skin in the abdominal wall to keep it viable. We are monitoring the patient closely and the outcome looks positive,” Dr Gupta said.
The doctor said it was the first time he had performed such a critical surgery in a career spanning 20 years. “He is breathing on his own now. He opens his eyes, but we are not sure how much he understands. He has a long way to go before he recovers from the injury fully. One more surgery will be done two months later to fix the portion of the skull that had to be removed. He would also require physiotherapy and rehabilitation in future,” Dr Gupta added.
Dr MK Singh, director of Flores Hospital, said, “When the patient was brought to the hospital, his condition did not look promising at all. He had 12mm of the iron rod protruding out from the front and back of his head. A team of doctors conducted a few tests and decided to go for an immediate surgery.