A construction worker had to undergo an emergency leg amputation on a Frisco, Texas, job site after he became caught in the blades of a trench digging machine Feb.1, local authorities said.
Kevin Haines of the Frisco Fire Department told CBS Dallas Fort Worth that the worker’s leg was entangled in the machine to the point where they didn’t think he could be extricated with just tools.
The accident happened in a field where workers were laying pipe for the construction of a housing development.
Emergency workers assessing the problem also determined that the trenching machine, which resembles a giant chainsaw and is used to dig trenches in the ground, was too heavy to move. That’s when they made the decision to call a surgeon to the scene.
“Once the helicopter arrived with the surgeon and the blood products, the air medical crew started administering the blood, the surgeon made an assessment. Working together with our rescue team they started to disassemble parts of the trencher,” Frisco Fire Department Deputy Chief Scott Vetterick told CBS News DFW. “Then the surgeon made entry into the area and started working on the patient to help free him, so they worked all together.”
Dr. Mark Gamber, medical director for the Frisco Fire Department, told CBS DFW that the site of the accident was one of the most challenging environments he’s ever worked in. The accident occurred in the middle of a field of dirt with cold winds blowing through the area.
Those assisting in the amputation administered anesthetic drugs, prepared a transfusion, and performed the amputation above the injured worker’s knee, according to CBS News.
The amputation was the first rescue procedure for Frisco’s new Prehospital Amputation Team, which combines the resources of surgeons, paramedics, and firefighters for a quick response to amputation emergencies.
“To have all of this come together is what I think truly saved this guy’s life and get him to the hospital,” Dr. Gamber told CBS DFW.
The injured man was taken by air ambulance to Medical City Plano for further treatment.