August 07, 2009 Edition 1
A man’s right leg had to be amputated with a pocket-knife after he became trapped under a harvester on a farm in the Free State, paramedics said yesterday.
“Quick action by a local doctor and paramedics probably saved a 22-year-old man’s life this afternoon after his leg had to be amputated with a pocket knife,” said ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak.
By the time paramedics reached the farm, about 70km outside Welkom, a doctor was there.
“The paramedics found the 22-year-old man trapped beneath the harvester with his legs badly mangled in the blades. It is understood that the man was on the harvester, fell off and got caught in the blades.”
When, after about 90 minutes, attempts to free the man’s legs failed, it became clear the man’s right leg would have to be amputated to save him and an orthopaedic surgeon from Welkom was contacted.
“With telephonic advice and only a pocket knife at hand, the doctor amputated the man’s leg.”
Paramedics also went to fetch the surgeon, who arrived in time to help stabilise the man, who was conscious, and clamp main arteries. The man was taken to the Welkom Medi Clinic where specialists were waiting to operate. – Sapa