Friday, July 21, 2006

A Doc's Life - More Memorable Moments (P.S. 2)

Scenario: ER in a small hospital on a Saturday evening. Patient is a Chinese gentleman in his 40’s, who came in with his hand wrapped in a bloodied handkerchief.

He had been trying to catch an iguana (to eat. The Chinese are notorious for having an appetite for any creature that crawls, walks, swims….basically anything under the sun that is not toxic to the system). I guess the iguana was not too keen on being a dish on the dinner table.

On examination, his hand had multiple (& I mean multiple!!!) smooth edged lacerations on both palmar & dorsal surfaces which looked like razor cuts.

Looking at the pattern of injury, it looks like what had happened was that as he reached out to try to grab the lizard, the creature clamped down on his hand (I honestly didn’t even know that lizards had such sharp teeth). And as he reflexively tried to withdraw, it refused to let go, hence resulting in said lacerations ranging in length from half an inch to 3 inches.

Fortunately, there weren’t any tendinous nor nerve injuries although most of the lacerations were deep enough to warrant stitches. Took me a good hour to suture him up (must have been about 15 to 20 lacerations in total).

Oh, and the lizard got away ☺ ….go lizard!

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