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Teenager survives nail shot through heart

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 11th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A 19-year-old carpenter in Argentina who was accidentally shot in the heart with a three-inch nail has miraculously survived after delicate surgery. The unnamed man was rushed to hospital Buenos Aires last after the bolt was fired by a colleague into his chest.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The man had been working at a wooden pallet factory in the Cañuelas area when the accident occurred. A X-ray image taken afterwards clearly and shockingly shows the deadly device piercing his heart chamber.

The man underwent two hours of surgery at El Cruce Néstor Kirchner Hospital.

Doctors decided not to remove the nail immediately as it was "acting as a stopper and preventing a hemorrhage," executive director Arnaldo Medina said.

"In the operating room, we proceeded to open the breast bone very carefully because there was a risk of hitting the nail and enlarging the heart wound," Dr. Marcelo Nahín told newspaper reporters. "With the nail visible, we performed a manual removal of the foreign body, which was embedded in the anterior right ventricular."

"The patient has recovered well and he is now off the ventilator," Nahín said.

According to Medina, only three people in the world had ever survived such an injury - in the U.S., Australia and Poland. This was the first time they had ever seen it occur in Argentina.

On the topic of nail guns, Medina warned "They are powerful and easy to operate as they increase productivity, but they are also responsible for around 37,000 visits each year to emergency rooms in hospitals in the U.S."

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