Doctor uses household drill to save boy’s life

May 20th, 2009 - 7:47 am ICT by IANS  

Natasha Richardson Sydney, May 20 (DPA) A quick-thinking Australian country doctor Wednesday described how he borrowed a maintenance worker’s cordless electric drill to bore a hole into the skull of a 13-year-old boy to drain the bleeding that was lethally crushing his brain.
“If you are in that situation you just do those things,” Rob Carson told The Australian newspaper. “It’s not a personal achievement; it’s just part of the job.”

Nicholas Rossi was brought to the district hospital in Maryborough, 170 km north of Melbourne, complaining of a headache after falling off his bicycle and banging his head.

He had actually fractured his skull, and bleeding on the brain was building up and would have killed him.

Local doctor Rob Carson reckoned that he had only minutes to relieve the pressure, so he borrowed an electric drill from ahandyman to bore a hole just above the boy’s ear to let the blood out.

It was “one of the gutsiest life-saving efforts imaginable,” said Melbourne neurosurgeon David Wallace, who talked Carson through an operation he had never seen performed, let alone undertaken himself.

Within minutes, Rossi was showing signs of recovery and an hour later was on a plane to a Melbourne hospital properly equipped for brain surgery, rather than reliant on a yellow deWalt drill.

Rossi has made a full recovery.

Doctors praised Carson for acting immediately, noting that the late Natasha Richardson, wife of fellow Hollywood actor Liam Neeson, may have survived bleeding on the brain if similar quick action had been taken.

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