Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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AIIMS doctors save patient who swallowed 20cm knife

An incident which could have become fatal for the patient was reverted after doctors at AIIMS, New Delhi performed an operation and saved him.

The patient was brought in after he had swallowed a whole 20 cm knife. The object had penetrated his liver and was lodged in there.

The first of its kind surgery was commenced when a man presented in Safdar Jung hospital regarding pain in his abdomen and anorexia. A month and a half back, the man had reportedly swallowed a knife and yet went on with his normal life. When he developed the pain, he was shifted to the hospital. Until now, the patient’s family was ignorant of the act he had done.

The doctors at Safdar Jung Hospital had referred him to AIIMS on July 12th.

After taking an X-ray suggested by the doctors, the family realized the gravity of the situation and what the man had put himself into.

The life-threatening situation required a very precise and careful surgery that was carried out by the surgeons at AIIMS. It was led by surgeon Dr. NR Das who specialized in Gastroenterology. The operation took three hours to get completed due to the challenges they had to face as the knife was fully lodged in the patient’s liver.

AIIMS doctors said that the incident was the first one they had seen. Prior to this, they were presented with people, who had swallowed substances things like a needle, fish hook, and a pin, but never a knife. They expressed the dilemma and utter shock that had engulfed them when they interpreted the X-ray.

“When we saw the X-ray we were shocked; there was a big knife. That’s when he told us what had happened,” he said.

The patient, who is a resident of Haryana, was an addict. When he couldn’t get hold of marijuana to satisfy his drug cravings, he swallowed 20 cm knife.

Dr. Das and his team said that the position of the knife was the most concerning thing for them as it was in close proximity to the extremely vital blood-carrying vessels.

“The knife was dangerously close to the bile duct, and the main blood-circulating artery and vein. Any mistake by us and the patient could have bled to death. So, we cut through the intestinal wall to reach the liver and removed the knife,” Dr Das said.

The Gastroenterologist said that a radiologist firstly drained the pus accumulated in the man’s lungs and liver in a bid to cease the infection, pumped up from the metal, from spreading to the other organs. Next, a psychiatrist did his role by medicating and speaking to him, to bind him with courage. The patient was assured that his condition can be cured.

“Then his body was strengthened with supplements so he could survive the surgery, which we performed on July 19,” Dr Das said.