Boat propeller transection of hemithorax-successful multidisciplinary surgical reconstruction (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

*Cheruvu S.; Oo K.T.M.; Erel E.; Satur C.

British Journal of Surgery; Jun 2020; vol. 107 ; p. 37

A 69 year old man fell into canal and was drawn into the propeller of his canal boat that resulted in transection of the right thoracic cavity and the right upper arm. Emergency helicopter transfer was made to our major trauma centre for multidisciplinary surgical care. Injuries included a full thickness antero-posterior transection from the sternum to beyond the tip of the scapula, and an open right midshaft humeral fracture with wound extending obliquely into the axilla. The entire thoracic cavity was contaminated by canal water. There was severe haemodynamic and cardiorespiratory compromise requiring level 3 intensive care. Following emergency resuscitative management, multidisciplinary surgical care was provided by the cardiothoracic, plastic and orthopaedic surgery teams utilising innovative operative techniques. Multistage operative management of chest wall required initial damage control surgery with debridement and negative pressure therapy. After 4 days of intensive care physiological stabilisation, reconstruction of the thoracic defect was undertaken with specialist thoracic titanium implants and the chest wall was reconstructed. This was a major thoracic trauma case treated successfully using revolutionary surgical techniques at the Royal Stoke Hospital. The subsequent impact on practice for thoracic polytrauma has led to improved survival rates by 75%.

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