A retired NDMC employee survived a freak incident when a blade from a cutter pierced his skull last month.
After Tejpal, 62, retired as a supervising electrician in 2014, he kept himself busy fixing things at home. On May 14, he had taken out his electric cutter to remove a piece of wood that was stopping his door from closing when the incident happened.
“I recall starting it and the next thing I remember I was lying on the floor in a pool of blood,” said Tejpal, who goes by one name.
The blade from the cutter had broken and went into his head. “Our son found him bleeding and unconscious, with the cutter still running next to him,” said his wife, Hardevi, who goes by one name. “He switched off the blade, wrapped his father’s head in a cloth and took him to the hospital,” she said.
The blade had gone through the skull into his brain, just above the left eye. “His eye was safe but the socket roof was damaged. We could not pull out the piece of the blade as it would have damaged the brain further,” said Dr Sanjeev Gupta, senior consultant of neurosurgery at Max hospital, Patparganj.
“In such cases, there is always a chance of injury to the surrounding neural tissue and infection, which can cause meningitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membrane). The symptoms would depend on what part of the brain is damaged,” said Dr Sumit Sinha, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“The most important thing to remember is to not try and pull out an embedded object, which may cause further damage,” said Dr Gupta, who did an emergency craniotomy – removal of a piece of the skull – and took the piece of the blade out.
“We had to remove the blade very carefully because if it had gone any deeper, the movement of his right hand and leg would have been compromised,” the doctor said. It took a two-hour surgery to remove the 13 cm piece of metal from Tejpal’s head.
Hardevi, who was visiting her parents, first heard of the accident in the evening. “By the time I reached the hospital, the surgery had been done and he was in the ICU. I keep asking him not to use tools when I am not around, but he doesn’t listen. What if our son hadn’t been there? Who would’ve taken him to the hospital?,” she said.