SURGEONS have saved the life of a man whose heart and left lung were pierced with a crossbow arrow – which plunged 12 inches deep into his chest.
The 47-year-old was taken by air ambulance to the Molinette Hospital of Turin, Italy, where surgeons said they successfully removed the arrow in the “exceptional” procedure.
“Tonight a man whose heart and a lung was pierced from side-to-side with a dart was saved at Cardiac Surgery,” said the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria (AOU) City of Health and Science of Turin.
The hospital described the emergency surgery as “a case of exceptional rarity… the man was pierced by a dart of over 30cm in his chest.
“Even more incredibly, in addition to the thoracic wall, the blunt instrument has pierced the left ventricle – the most important of the heart chambers – with an entry and an exit point, and then embedded in the left lung without causing immediate death.”
He was conscious upon arriving at Turin from his home in Aosta, northwestern Italy.
The hospital said that it was tricky procedure as “removing the dart from its location could have resulted in uncontrollable bleeding.”
Because of the life-threatening situation, the man had to have his blood passed through a machine in a special process to oxygenate his blood supply, to allow the arrow to be safely removed.
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After the arrow was carefully extracted from his heart, surgeons repaired punctures to his lung and left ventricle.
Torino News said that it is not known how the arrow became embedded deep in his chest, but it is believed that he had been “fumbling” with the crossbow.
Il Giornale said that after several hours of surgery, led by Prof Mauro Rinaldi, the man is reported to be “fine”.