Doctors at Kenya’s largest referral hospital, KNH, have today made achieved another great milestone of reattaching a 17-year-old boy’s severed hands to his arm.
The boy’s hand got cut off from the rest of his hand while he was operating a chaff-cutting machine as he was attending to his family’s cows. The boy was taken to hospital 10 hours after the accident, alongside his severed hand.
The surgery brought together experts in different medical fields including surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, anesthetists, and nurses. Ferdinand Nangole, one of the surgeons involved in the surgery, said the operation involved cleaning the boy’s wound, then identifying structures such as the nerves and major blood vessels for reattachment. The surgeon said they also had to shorten some bones; it took them about one and a half hours to identify the structure of the boy’s arm.
Advice from the Doctors on what to do in case you severe a body part
There is no doubt the boy was very lucky that the doctors were able to reattach his severed hands to the rest of his arm. However, there some certain factors that went right prior to the doctors operating on him that tremendously boosted his chances.
It is advised that in the event someone’s body part gets cut off, the body part should be placed in a plastic bag and then placed on ice. The severed body part should not be placed in direct contact with the ice, as it will lead to frostbite, which will damage the tissue. It is also not advisable to suspend the body part in water, as doing so further complicates the procedure of reattachment.
The first thing doctors do when trying to reattach a severed body part, it reconnecting the blood vessels, especially the arteries. So that oxygen and nutrition can quickly get supplied to tissues in the severed body part as quickly as possible. It is also critically important that the arteries be large enough to allow easy manipulation using microsurgical techniques.
The achievement by the doctors at the KNH is no mean feat by any measures. It certainly puts Kenya on the global radar of successful complicated surgeries. If you would recall, the KNH is no stranger to such milestone achievements in the world of successful complicated surgeries. Back in November 2016, doctors at the hospitals separated conjoined twins, who were joined at the lower back.