Episode 5 Bizarre ER


Episode 5

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Emergency!

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With mind-boggling medical mishaps

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and the quirkiest of casualties...

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My boyfriend dropped a turnip on my foot.

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This is Bizarre ER.

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And for the first time we've camped out in not one but two British hospitals -

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Northampton General and Bradford Royal Infirmary.

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PHONE RINGS Hello.

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To bring you the curious cases that are all in a day's work for the stoic staff...

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-Can you see your pound coin there?

-'..but which have to be seen to be believed'

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Plus we've scoured the planet for the people who, thanks to amazing medics,

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have survived the most extraordinary accidents and emergencies known to man.

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Nobody believes they are going to get the Black Death.

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So scrub up, sit back and enjoy the sometimes silly, often odd,

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but never dull world of Bizarre ER.

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All I can say is thank heavens for the NHS.

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Thank you.

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Coming up tonight - a trip to the pub leaves one punter bent out of shape,

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a supersize splinter proves a real headache...

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God, it's huge.

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..and we find out how doctors use state-of-the-art techniques to put one man's face back together

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when a freaky forest accident shattered his skull to pieces.

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It was really incredible to think that he was still alive.

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But first, we're heading to Northampton General where three-year-old Elliot

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has arrived at A&E with dad James, stepbrother Jack and his favourite bathtime buddy Scuba Steve.

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Dad often has trouble separating Steve and Elliot but tonight it's proving especially tricky.

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My little boy's got a toy stuck on his finger.

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We've tried absolutely everything to try and get it off - ice,

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butter, even hitting it with a hammer

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and it just won't budge. And now it hurts that much he won't even let us touch it.

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It's his favourite bath toy so we're not allowed to break it.

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Although they look like they make a cute couple this is potentially a dangerous duo.

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Scuba Steve is cutting off the blood flow which could,

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in the worst case, spell serious trouble for Elliot's dinky digit.

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-I don't want it pulled off.

-You don't want it pulled off, do we.

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-No.

-You like Scuba Steve.

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To make sure Elliot and Scuba don't experience a painful parting

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staff need to numb the finger before they attempt to pull Steve off.

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Rather than scare the poor wee mite with a nasty needle,

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they opt for some anaesthetic gel which will also lubricate the area and hopefully help Scuba slip off.

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See if you can twist it cos that's what the man's going to do in a minute.

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The doctor's going to give it a twist.

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While the nurses wait for the gel to take effect, Dad makes a final plea to Elliot to help himself.

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Go on, you give it a pull, then. Show them how strong you are.

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-Don't want to.

-So what, you're going to

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let it sit on your finger forever?

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-Forever.

-Forever?

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Elliot's having none of it so it will be down to nurse Phil

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to tug the toy loose with the minimum amount of pain and fuss.

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Aargh!

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-Stop it, stop it.

-That's it.

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In a matter of seconds, Scuba Steve is free but Elliot's not happy.

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And it looks like he's got a single-digit message for the assembled staff.

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To make sure Scuba Steve hasn't caused any lasting damage Elliot's sent for an X-ray.

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That's good.

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-Can you see your finger? You see that?

-Mmm.

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That's your finger and the good thing is all those bones look normal.

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With the helping hand from the team at Northampton, Elliot's escaped a far worse fate.

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If it had been on any...much longer,

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I think he would have ended up going to theatre to get it removed.

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And despite all the tears before bedtime,

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there are no hard feelings between Elliot and his little plastic pal.

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-Where is he?

-There.

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In my pocket.

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Shall we have a look at him now?

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That's little Scuba Steve but no fingers in him though, do we?

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-Why.

-Cos if we get stuck we have to come back again.

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As with most hospitals, Bradford Royal Infirmary gets its fair share

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of alcohol-related accidents, just like our next case.

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-Did you feel dizzy or anything prior to the fall?

-No. No.

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But Gerry Clarke didn't even make it to the pub before ending up with this bizarre bender.

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He just tripped

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on the crossing and then we picked him up

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and his finger was in a very peculiar position.

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Would have helped if it had happened when I was coming from the pub - I wouldn't have felt it.

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We'll get you straight through as that needs pulling and it needs to go back into the joint.

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There's more to Gerry's freaky finger than meets the eye.

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Jilting his joint could have caused damage to the bones and the nerves in his digit

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but before doctors can check out how severe the injury is, they have to pull his pointer into place.

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What you need to do is you need to grip your teeth around it and suck as hard as you can.

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Sister Brook administers a bit of pain relief from the hospital's regular barrel, nitrous oxide,

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otherwise known as laughing gas.

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There you go. It's working. All right?

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Just put your head back.

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But Gerry's laughter is soon cut short

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when Dr Simon Alzer arrives to click the wonky finger back into place.

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Just going to inject both sides, OK?

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After a local anaesthetic to numb the pain it's time to put an end to Gerry's bender.

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As long as I don't see him doing it.

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-You'll feel it but you won't see it.

-Shut up, you.

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Right I'm just gonna gently pull, OK?

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This is the part I don't like.

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That looks like it's back in nicely.

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How is that feeling?

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It wasn't as bad as I thought.

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Thanks...

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As I said...

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Before doctors can let Gerry loose for some liquid refreshment

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they need to do a quick but thorough check for damage to nerves and bones.

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The joints are nicely in line so it looks like it was just a clear dislocation.

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With the X-rays all clear Dr Alzer assesses the nerves.

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-Make a fist for me.

-'Well, it doesn't look like David Hay needs to lose any sleep'

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-'but it shows that Gerry's drinking hand is back in action.'

-Thank you very much.

-You're welcome.

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Meaning that he and Stuart can finally continue their journey down the pub.

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A cheeky half down the local might not seem bad for your health

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but the boozer is home

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to bizarre injuries by the barrel.

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A staggering 42,000 accidents

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happen in pubs, bars

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and social clubs each year.

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And you don't even have to step inside to do yourself damage.

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In October 2010 a woman was taken to intensive care

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when a hanging basket outside one bar fell on her head.

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Or John McMaster sustained serious neck injuries

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when he was levelled by a sun lounger that had blown off a nearby pub roof terrace.

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And in 2003, Christopher Prosper from Reading went from hostelry

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to hospital after he fell through

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an open cellar trap door.

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Inside the average alehouse, you'll find trauma on tap.

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Most tavern tumbles are due to slips on wet surfaces,

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though punters also come a cropper over carelessly placed coats and shopping bags.

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and a poorly maintained bar stool rather than one too many sherries

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can also send you reeling.

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Last orders, anyone?

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Sporting injuries are not unheard of, either.

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Dave Farmer from Llandrindod Wells was showing off to his mates

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when he jumped off a snooker table and well and truly potted the pink

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by landing on his friend's upturned snooker cue,

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piercing his stomach and scrotum.

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Anaesthetised by the eight pints he'd sunk, Dave was more concerned

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with finishing the game until pals persuaded him to head to A&E.

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Best of three. Best of three!

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It's enough to make you turn to drink.

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Next we're heading to Northampton General A&E which is not exactly

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where the Russo family hoped to find themselves

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when they left the house all set for an enjoyable family day out.

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The trip ended with a tumble for 13-year-old Kristian who's not only

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cut and bruised but also has a stick stuck in the side of his head.

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That's right - a stick in his head.

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I actually only remembered hitting the floor and then I get up and I'm in pain...

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it hurts so much.

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Ow! I can't laugh.

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On their day out at a local country park,

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the family eschewed the usual sites in favour of a nearby quarry.

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The kids were keen to explore

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but Dad Vince insisted on testing the terrain first.

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I insist on testing the terrain first.

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And ventured gingerly down the steep gravel slope.

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Eager to match Dad's bravado,

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plucky Chris thought he'd make a run for it.

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But as his momentum built,

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the slippery slope got the better of him,

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he tripped, flipped

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and flew face first into a branch, impaling his head on a sharp twig.

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One antler up, it was time for this young Bambi to hit the hospital.

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Oh DEER, Kristian...

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Get it? Get it?

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It frightened me because he hit it with such force

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and I had a look and that's when I noticed the branch...

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well, the bit of stick in his head.

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Doctors' first concern is the brain and Kris is sent straight to X-ray.

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If the splinter has penetrated his skull he could be in serious danger of brain damage.

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OK, that's it. Well done.

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Dr Kunal Patel arrives with both good and bad news.

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The X-ray isn't showing any penetration into the skull.

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That's the good news.

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But confident there is no damage to the skull, medics can now set about the painful process of extraction.

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-Owww.

-Bit painful is it?

-Yes...

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a bit sore as well.

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-'After a local anaesthetic...'

-Oh-h-h, not again.

-'..Dr Patel starts his pruning.'

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-Ready?

-Yeah...

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-Yay, there it is.

-Is it out?

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But with a suspicious bulge on the skin, doctors twig there is still

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a sliver of splinter lodged in Kris's scalp

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and Registrar Dr Ejiro arrives to take on the tiny tree surgery.

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# I just can't get you out of my head... #

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Ahhh.

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# Your loving is all I think about... #

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-Ahhhh.

-# I just can't get you out of my head... #

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Unable to uproot the stubborn splinter,

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Dr Ejiro has no option but to slice open the scalp and dig for the twig.

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Bloody hurts.

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Ahh...is it coming out?

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Is it out? Let's have a look.

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The wood chip is finally out and measures in at a whopping 5cm long.

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God, it's huge.

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The splinter might be out but Kris's crisis is not over yet.

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The gaping gash has to be cleaned out to avoid infection before being sewn back together.

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After a quick wash but alas no conditioner or head massage, Kris's crown is stitched up.

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That was an interesting one... definitely. Bizarre, I suppose.

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With Dr Ejiro's work done the family are free to head home.

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Hopefully there won't be any more pain for me cos it kills.

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Fun day out at Northampton General Hospital.

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Maybe stick with the cinema for the next family outing, eh, guys?

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Having a slash in your scalp might not be pleasant but our next patient

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has come to Northampton General with a much more grisly gash.

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Are you in a lot of pain?

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Carpenter Martin Chew has arrived at A&E after accidentally taking a saw to his paw.

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The cut is so disastrously deep that the only thing keeping

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the dangling hand from dropping off is that bandage.

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The hand will need supporting cos it flops.

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All right... is it underneath or on top?

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On top.

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Any viewers of a sensitive disposition should look away now.

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-Can you feel that? Does that feel normal?

-Yeah.

-Yeah?

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-How does that one feel?

-Yeah, that's all right.

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A&E Consultant Dr Holloway checks that Martin still has sensation in his hand.

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-Feel that one?

-The tip of my little finger?

-Mmm.

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Yeah, I can feel that.

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Which indicates that the nerves aren't damaged beyond repair.

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Probably the only good news poor Martin will get all day.

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What we're going to do is give that a really good wash out, OK?

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We're going to put some salt water in there.

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We all know that washing our hands is hygienic but in Martin's case it's vital...

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with a wide open wound like this there's a massive risk of infection

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which could lead to him losing his hand altogether.

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Breathe on there. Breathe on your gas, breathe on your gas.

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Breathe. Good man. Breathe.

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Doctors make cleaning out the area a top priority using a sterile solution of saltwater or saline.

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Medics make sure the gaping gash gets a thorough rinsing.

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Talk about pouring salt in the wound.

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We're putting some pads on with like an iodine solution because of infection

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and we're just going to bandage it up, OK?

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With a bit of help from the gas pump our unbelievably brave chippy remains chipper.

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That's it. Keep using it.

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It's free.

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The extent of Martin's injuries are plain to see

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but an X-ray is needed to find out just how much damage has been done.

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You can see the saw's gone all the way through the bones here

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and the whole hand has sort of compressed down

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and then all the skin on top of the bones has also been sawn through

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which is where all the tendons lie

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which is why he couldn't move his hand at all cos all the tendons had been disrupted.

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It might not seem it, but Martin's been incredibly lucky.

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If the saw had gone probably only a centimetre further,

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he'd have actually chopped off the whole of his hand.

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He needs his hand reconstructing.

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He's gone through the bones, gone through the tendons, gone through the skin.

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Martin is rushed to theatre where a team of surgeons is waiting.

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It's important that they get to work straightaway

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for there to be any chance of restoring function to the hand,

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something that's pretty important for a carpenter.

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The team will work into the night to give it their best shot.

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Join us later in the show when we'll find out if they can save Martin's hand and his livelihood.

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Bizarre cases aren't confined to Britain

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and this series we've scoured the globe to bring you the world's most extraordinary emergencies.

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Down under, doctors resorted to surreal skin peeling surgery

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when a Kiwi forest worker came to them with a skull so obliterated

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the lower half of his face shifted a centimetre to the right.

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For lovers of the outdoor life, working in the lush New Zealand countryside

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is like working in Paradise.

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But Paradise turned to Hell for Johnathan Tobeck when after an horrific accident

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doctors had to give him the ultimate face peel.

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the Hawkes Bay region produces delicious fruit and world class wine.

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It's also home to Johnathan who at the tender age of 22 had already achieved his dream job.

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I've been in the Forestry for eight years. I like it. It's awesome.

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It's my life. It's my work.

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Awesome feeling being out there and working in amongst all the trees.

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One day Johnathan was happily chopping down huge trees in a scenic New Zealand bush.

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These trees need to be pulled back through the forest to be hulled.

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There's a hauler a big machine, it's got wires coming off all over it.

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These wires stretch for miles along the forest, slowly dragging trees from where they fall.

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Sort of like a ski lift.

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Holding the massive logs in place are these giant metal chokers.

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Thirsty from working in the harsh Kiwi sun, Johnathan sat down for a well-earned drink.

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I'd just put my bottle down and I was turning round to grab the lid

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and boom...bash...out... Lights gone.

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The choker caught on undergrowth...

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a huge wire stretching and building tension until it was launched into his face with a ferocious force.

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The next thing I remember was waking up and all my mates were all around me

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and I said to them "What's going on, let's get back to work."

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The nasty left hook hit with such power and intensity that it pushed most of his cheekbone,

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the top part of his jaw, and his nose bones a centimetre to the other side of his face.

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All the bones in my face were all shattered so... Yeah, it was quite nasty.

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Paramedics were called to the rescue. But getting there wasn't going to be easy.

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It was up the side of a freshly filled hillside... climbing over broken trees.

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The helicopter is the only answer for people like that.

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'Even that has its difficulties.'

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Guide wires go into bits of machinery and things like that so we saw where the patient was,

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which was high up the side of a hill.

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The hill was too steep for the helicopter to land

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so Johnathan had to be winched to flat ground where he was stabilised.

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The skin of the scalp was split from ear to ear

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and he had a lot of deformity and swelling around his face.

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I grabbed my face to hold it and there was...

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it was like jelly.

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It was really incredible to think that he was still alive.

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All I could think about was my daughter and yeah I just wanted to see her again.

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Didn't want my life to be over.

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Johnathan was really lucky with his injury.

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It could have certainly been a lot worse. It could have killed him,

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he could have lost his sight in one or both of his eyes.

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If he didn't receive expert treatment quickly,

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he'd not only look horrific, he'd have to endure a lifetime

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of double vision, making most tasks,

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including his beloved woodland work, pretty much impossible.

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Most of the facial bones had been shunted off to one side.

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Not only was he in a great deal of pain,

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but he was quite clearly distressed.

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Walked straight past the mirror I got a fright.

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I didn't realise I looked like that. It was quite scary.

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The hook had decimated Johnathan's skull.

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When we first saw Johnathan,

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the hook had hit him on this part of his face

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and the impact has managed to separate the whole of the cheekbone

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and this piece of bone on the CT scan is totally shattered.

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Surgeons needed direct access into Johnathan's skull to move his bones

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back into place and had to resort to drastic and surreal surgery.

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The doctor came in and told me what he had to do and I freaked out.

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I was like "What?! I don't think so."

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Squeamish viewers be warned - there are some gruesome images ahead.

0:20:580:21:03

To get at these broken pieces of bone,

0:21:030:21:05

we need to peel his face forward and up.

0:21:050:21:09

Like something from a horror movie, surgeons pulled back the skin

0:21:100:21:13

to reveal Johnathan's badly damaged skull.

0:21:130:21:16

Doctors screwed a series of plates into place,

0:21:190:21:23

painstakingly rebuilding his skull structure.

0:21:230:21:26

This is Johnathan's operation here.

0:21:300:21:32

These are some of the plates and screws.

0:21:320:21:35

These are little clips that we put on the scalp's skin.

0:21:350:21:39

Not only does it help stop it bleeding, but it treats

0:21:390:21:42

the hair follicles well so that they don't die

0:21:420:21:46

and these patients don't end up with bald patches.

0:21:460:21:49

With the plates locked into place, doctors folded his face back

0:21:490:21:52

using 42 staples to hold it in place.

0:21:520:21:55

They gave me a mirror and everything looked heaps better.

0:21:590:22:02

Now the injury just had to heal,

0:22:020:22:03

though there were some teething troubles along the way.

0:22:030:22:06

They had wired all my jaw up and I couldn't eat anything but milkshakes.

0:22:060:22:11

I'm not a fan of milkshakes any more.

0:22:150:22:18

# My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard

0:22:190:22:21

# And they're like, "It's better than yours".. #

0:22:210:22:23

I hate milkshakes!

0:22:230:22:24

'Every morning I wake up now and I take a big breath

0:22:330:22:37

'and feel amazed that I am still able to breathe...

0:22:370:22:40

'..and enjoy life as it goes.'

0:22:410:22:43

Time now to enter the Bizarre ER confessional.

0:22:590:23:03

We've invited medics from across the land to share

0:23:030:23:07

the funniest and freakiest things they've seen in A&E.

0:23:070:23:11

These stories might sound far fetched, but they're all 100% true.

0:23:110:23:15

Sometimes patients don't tell you very much.

0:23:270:23:30

This 32-year-old lad in a suit came in and said

0:23:300:23:33

he thought he had something up his bottom.

0:23:330:23:35

Wouldn't tell us any more. He let us examine him.

0:23:350:23:38

His tummy was soft. But when we put a finger up his bum, we could feel something and we X-rayed him.

0:23:380:23:44

That's the X-Ray. That's his tailbone and THAT is stuck in his rectum!

0:23:440:23:49

We looked at that and we didn't know what the hell it was.

0:23:490:23:52

Was it some giant industrial syringe or is it a screwdriver?

0:23:520:23:56

Anyway, we took it out - it was a vibrator.

0:23:560:23:59

We washed it, we gave it to him. He said nothing. We asked nothing.

0:23:590:24:03

Nothing needed to be said.

0:24:030:24:05

We had a young girl in.

0:24:120:24:14

She got a shock from her Xmas tree lights that were flashing too fast.

0:24:140:24:18

Because she was bending down with her arm outstretched, it travelled

0:24:180:24:21

from one arm to the other and blew the top of her finger off.

0:24:210:24:25

Her family were horrified and screamed.

0:24:250:24:27

Unfortunately the little bit of finger that had blown off

0:24:270:24:30

went straight down the throat of her sister who was screaming the loudest.

0:24:300:24:34

We had two patients in - the girl with the top of her finger missing

0:24:340:24:38

and her sister with a foreign body, the top of the finger, in her throat.

0:24:380:24:42

But it was a happy Xmas story.

0:24:420:24:44

We were able to retrieve the finger and sew it back on to the sister.

0:24:440:24:47

Earlier in the show we met Martin...

0:24:510:24:53

..a carpenter who'd had an unfortunate slip with his chop saw

0:24:560:24:59

-and very nearly severed his entire hand.

-He's gone through the bones, the tendons and the skin.

0:24:590:25:05

After some painful pre-op procedures Martin was sent straight to theatre

0:25:050:25:10

where surgeons worked for five hours to repair the grim gaping wound across the back of his hand.

0:25:100:25:15

It's just 48 hours later, but incredibly Martin's up and about

0:25:160:25:21

and preparing to go home, although his cast is taking a bit of getting used to.

0:25:210:25:25

There's a solid cast... Ow.

0:25:270:25:29

There's a solid cast all the way underneath

0:25:290:25:31

that goes all the way round basically holding the hand up.

0:25:310:25:35

Brave Martin and the staff are happy with their handiwork.

0:25:350:25:38

They put in three wires which have realigned the bones back into

0:25:380:25:42

position that they should be in then they've reconstructed the tendons

0:25:420:25:45

on the back of the hand, any nerves or vessels that were damaged,

0:25:450:25:49

and also sewed the skin back up together.

0:25:490:25:52

The surgery went well so just keep my fingers crossed, really.

0:25:530:25:57

Not that I can!

0:25:570:25:59

But as he heads home to recuperate, the question is will his hand return to full health?

0:25:590:26:04

It's a month later and Martin's back hoping to see a wholesome hand where once there was a gruesome gash.

0:26:100:26:16

I can move my fingers, it could be a lot worse

0:26:160:26:19

But that's about all I can do.

0:26:200:26:23

I did think about going into puppetry.

0:26:230:26:25

"Hello, how are you today?"

0:26:270:26:29

Before he heads to his audition for Avenue Q, Martin pops in to

0:26:290:26:33

have his bandage changed and the first look at the healing hand.

0:26:330:26:37

Let's remove all this and then we can have a look and see what we're up to.

0:26:380:26:42

HE GASPS All right?

0:26:440:26:46

-You didn't like that.

-No. That hurt, that did.

-Sorry.

0:26:460:26:49

It's looking a lot better than it was.

0:26:490:26:51

Most of it... A lot of it has healed now.

0:26:530:26:56

It's definitely improved a lot. I mean, it was...

0:26:560:27:00

It was quite horrific to start with. Now it just looks a bit unpleasant.

0:27:000:27:05

Long, long process.

0:27:070:27:08

Time. Time's a great healer they say.

0:27:100:27:12

Martin heads off knowing that the road to recovery will be a long one,

0:27:120:27:18

but thanks to the efforts of the Northampton General staff doctors are hopeful that

0:27:180:27:22

in a year or so, he'll have almost all the function back in his hand.

0:27:220:27:26

Next time on Bizarre ER,

0:27:290:27:31

a biking blunder causes one man's metalwork to make a break for it.

0:27:310:27:35

It's punctured through the end. It's not great.

0:27:350:27:38

A young thrillseeker ends up battered after taking a bizarre joy ride.

0:27:380:27:42

Not knowing you can fall off an old granny trolley.

0:27:420:27:45

And the story of how two Norwegian adventurers' Arctic expedition turned to terror when they were

0:27:470:27:53

attacked in their sleep by a deadly polar bear.

0:27:530:27:57

Polar bears are strong animals. It can take seconds to kill a person.

0:27:570:28:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:210:28:24

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:240:28:27

Featuring a toddler with his favourite bath toy stuck on the end of his finger; a carpenter who nearly severed his own hand after a momentary slip with a chop saw; a teenager whose tumble into a quarry ended with him getting a stick stuck in his head; and a man who arrived with his finger at a right angle after he fell and dislocated it on the way to the pub.

Plus, how surgeons rebuilt a New Zealand forest worker's shattered skull by peeling back his face, and medical professionals confess the oddest and most outlandish things they've been confronted with in casualty.


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