A 12-year-old boy was rushed to Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road with an injury to his right thumb which was completely amputated at the base. The patient was playing badminton in his building vicinity when his thumb was accidentally amputated. A plastic and reconstructive microsurgeon team Dr Sushil Nehete and Dr Leena Jain performed a challenging 6-hour long surgery to re-attach the chopped-off portion of the patient’s thumb.
Ashish Shah ( Name Changed), a 7th Standard school student from Boisar, Palghar district, Maharashtra, was playing badminton in his building vicinity as playgrounds in the nearby areas were shut due to the lockdown on May 28th, 2021. Suddenly, the shuttlecock went into the tree nearby, while removing it, the patient’s right thumb got stuck in a wire, and his thumb was completely amputated and avulsed. The pain was excruciating, the boy shouted and picked up the severed thumb and ran to his home. His parents called the family doctor asked them to put the severed portion intact into a plastic bag, insert it in the pack of ice, and rush to the hospital.
Dr Sushil Nehete, Plastic and reconstructive microsurgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road said “This patient’s case is not an isolated incident, as many youngsters who come for finger crush injuries or even total amputations. If people manage to preserve the amputated part and reach the hospital on time then it is possible to re-attach or reconstruct the detached fingers with the help of surgery. This patient was fortunate enough to reach the hospital within 3.5 hours after the injury and wisely brought his amputated part in a well-preserved condition. Keeping in mind the pandemic situation, we conducted an antigen test But, time is the essence in such cases. So, we took adequate precautions to protect the patient and initiated the surgery as the procedure performed within 4-6 hours of trauma has a higher success rate while a delay is linked to the poor outcomes as the cells in the cut-off portion start dying. Reimplantation surgery is a well-known procedure and can be done for any age group.”
Dr Leena Jain Plastic and reconstructive microsurgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road said, “The patient underwent surgery to reattach the detached thumb on 29th May 2021. Surgery was started past midnight. It is imperative to shift anyone encountering such incidents immediately to the hospital considering rapid blood loss and save the life. Also, call the emergency department of the hospital first so that the staff is ready till the patient arrives.”
“The intricate replantation surgery was done using an operating microscope which is available only in Wockhardt Hospital in the vicinity. During the surgery, blood vessels were joining to restore blood supply, nerves that are responsible for sensation, and tendons to bend and extend fingers were also joined after fixing the bone with metal K wire. The impact of the injury was so severe that he required a piece of the vein to repair the artery. Each and every structure of the thumb was repaired. This surgery aims to restore the normal form and function of the thumb to a maximum extent. The tedious surgery lasted for 6 hours and the entire procedure was performed under a microscope wearing a PPE. The thumb performs around 50% functions of the hand and the surgery was successful. The post-operative period was uneventful and the patient was discharged after 7 days. The patient can feel 50% sensation. With the physiotherapy he will soon perform daily activity and the functioning will improve more with time.” Adds Dr Sushil Nehete.
“Our world came crashing down when he saw our son crying haplessly, and his hand was covered in blood as well as the blood was dripping continuously. He was unable to talk or explain what happened. He came home running with the detached part of the thumb, and his friends also followed him and narrated the entire incident. We called our family doctor who helped us wrap the injury, preserve the thumb and then he was admitted to Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road wherein his thumb was saved. We are thankful to the doctors who have made it possible for my son to resume his normal life. He has started attending online schooling now. I urge parents to be cautious of such incidents and avoid dangerous consequences,” concluded the patient’s father Dinesh Shah ( Name Changed).