Thursday, October 9, 2008

Trauma Team saves a life under extraordiary circumstances...

The best place to perform emergency trauma surgery is in an O.R.

But when that's impossible, VMC's trauma team will go the extra mile(s) to save a life. That's what happened this week, as the following incredible story graphically describes:

San Martin winery employee loses leg after accident; doctors perform amputation on site

By Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News 10-8-08

A 20-year-old man working at a San Martin winery lost his right leg after he got caught in a piece of equipment used to drill holes in wine barrels.

Mike Van Loben Sels, battalion chief for the South Santa Clara County Fire Protection District, said the accident was reported at 9:47 p.m. Monday at ASV Wines, 12805 Llagas Road.

The employee's leg was caught in an auger — a large spiral screw used in different parts of the wine production process, such as removing grape skins.

Valley Medical Center doctors flew by helicopter to the winery and helped extract the man from the machine.

Dr. John Sherk, chief trauma surgeon, and anesthesiologist Dr. Barry Waddell amputated the man's right leg at mid-thigh, before he was taken to Valley Medical in San Jose.

"It's amazing,'' said hospital spokeswoman Amy Carta. "The community should know that doctors go out to the site when necessary.''

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