A TEAM of doctors in Darjeeling has succeeded in removing a 4-inch long knife blade from a man’s right lung, with the most basic surgical equipment. The man had been carrying the knife in the lower part of the right lung fill for the past 26 years.
Dr P.D. Bhutia, Principal Medical Officer and Superintendent of the D&DMA Nursing Home (Planters Nursing Home) had got quite a shock when Diley Rai approached him on Monday and said he been carrying a knife inside his body for the past 26 years. “We did a lateral view X-Ray and saw that a 4-inch blade was embedded in the lower part of his right lungs,” said Bhutia. The latter then consulted Dr Debobroto Das, a surgeon in Darjeeling Sadar Hospital and Dr DT Bhutia, an anesthetist.
“We told Rai that he should go to a better-equipped hospital in Siliguri or Kolkata and get it removed, but he insisted we operate upon him here as he did not have the money to go to Siliguri,” said Dr Bhutia. “We decided to take up the challenge …,” added Dr Das. It was a grueling, two-hour struggle for the team of doctors and support staff, before the blade was finally extracted. Two of Rai’s ribs had to be cut.
“There were many complications. The entry wound had closed. The knife was totally embedded in his lungs (right thoracic cave in the lung cavity). There were chances of the patient going into torrential hemorrhage and collapsing..,” Das added. “Rai will take 15 days to recover if post-operative complications don’t arise,” said Das.
“It all happened 26 years ago when a scuffle broke out in a panchayat meeting at the estate,” said Rai. “I intervened and someone stabbed me from the back. I was taken to the Sadar Hospital in Darjeeling,” he said. The doctors there patched him up without bothering to get an X-Ray done.