Back on Jan. 4, we told our Philadelphia readers about a work accident that amputated a man's arm. Despite the gruesome injury, surgeons were able to keep the arm alive long enough to reattach it. In a new case, a firefighter outside of Pennsylvania also suffered a partially amputated arm in a work injury on Jan. 30. Surgeons reattached the arm and are hopeful that the firefighter will regain use of the limb.
The work injury occurred as the firefighter and his crew were riding in a fire truck early in the morning. The fire truck was attempting a U-turn when a tractor-trailer crashed into its rear. The firefighter's arm was severely injured in the crash, including an arm that was cut off at the elbow.
He and the arm were rushed to the hospital by his fellow firefighters. Surgeons worked for nine hours to reattach the arm. One of the surgeons said that they had to repair the broken bone, as well as tendons, blood vessels and nerves. The firefighter underwent another operation that evening. Following the operations, he was unconscious and breathing with the help of a machine but doctors predicted he would awaken soon. A statement on the fire department's website said that the arm had good blood flow and color.
It is not clear if the driver of the 18 wheeler may be facing criminal charges in connection with the accident. The extent to which the injured firefighter will regain use of the arm also remains to be seen.
Source: WTOP-TV, "Surgeons work to reattach injured firefighter's arm," Jan. 31, 2013