Episode 8 Bizarre ER


Episode 8

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With mind boggling medical mishaps...

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-Ouch!

-..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,

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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

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Hello.

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..to bring you the curious cases

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that are all in a day's work for the stoic staff...

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Can you see your pound coin there?

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

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Ah!

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Plus, we've scoured the planet for the people who,

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thanks to amazing medics, have survived the most extraordinary

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accidents and emergencies known to man.

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Nobody believes they're going to get the Black Death.

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

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often odd, 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 -

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one man's feeling off key after an odd karaoke calamity.

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I'll probably get an award for the most stupid man on the planet.

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THEY LAUGH

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Hot off the press -

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a paper machine mangles one woman's mitt.

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-Is it a mess?

-Yeah.

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And we reveal how surgeons used a bit of this man's ear

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to save his face when he was impaled on not one

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but three fence posts in a catastrophic car crash.

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I've never known anybody to suffer injuries like that and survive it.

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But first we're heading to Bradford Royal Infirmary

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where four-year-old Namine Sayed has come to A&E with her mum

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as there's something unusual caught between her teeth.

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Keep that there, keep it there!

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And we don't just mean her nursery teacher, Lisa.

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Namine has somehow managed to get a staple embedded in her gum.

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Just holding my finger in place at the moment,

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so that the other end of the staple doesn't pierce her cheek.

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Lisa's had her finger wedged in Namine's gnashers for nearly an hour

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since a classroom assistant noticed her chewing something.

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When the teaching assistant asked her to open her mouth

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they noticed that the staple was sticking out.

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Lisa's seen kids hoover up all manner of inedible items

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over the years, but this is a first.

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I don't often spend my days with my finger in someone's mouth normally.

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-Namine Sayed.

-Namine, yay!

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# I'm sticking with you... #

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By gum!

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It can't be easy toddling with your teacher stapled to your face.

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Hoping to extract both teacher and staple,

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is paediatric specialist Nawar El-Kadir.

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-You can take your hand.

-Oh, yeah, we were just worried about the...

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I don't think so. It will be all right.

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Dr El-Kadir begins by adopting a DIY approach.

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You do it by yourself.

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You do it. It's coming down, yeah. You do it, yeah.

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Right, it's nearly there, yeah.

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Looks like the doctor's going to have to get stuck in.

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Ow, ah!

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Ah!

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Open, open, open up, up!

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It's nearly there. We're just getting it out. Open, open, up, up.

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It's a hairy moment,

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but at least Namine's got the whole family's support.

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Kind of.

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Ah, ah! Good girl.

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Ah!

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Just stuck between the two teeth.

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Right. I'm just going to pull it. That's it!

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See?

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I don't think she need anything apart from just painkiller.

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-Have you got any Calpol?

-Yes.

-Yeah, at home, yeah?

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Just give her some Calpol, and don't do that again.

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-OK.

-You promise? Yeah?

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-OK.

-Thank you very much.

-OK, bye-bye.

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And at last, detached from both Lisa and the staple, it's playtime.

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The children in A&E, we see most of the time foreign bodies in nose,

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it's stuck in the nose or it's stuck in the ear.

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This case is definitely bizarre. A very, very odd case to see.

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From now on, let's hope Namine adopts a different staple diet.

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Step into school and you're likely to encounter

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as much tribulation as education.

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A staggering half a million people

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are sent from classroom to casualty each year.

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Top marks go to books,

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while blackboards get a respectable B+,

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almost 100 students are pained by pins,

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while bottom of the class are calculators.

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These accidents with adding machines, while not frequent, can be lucrative.

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One student in Suffolk received £9,000

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after a calculator thrown at him chipped his tooth.

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At least I can afford to go to university now.

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And even if your academic career is moments from over,

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don't get complacent.

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Graduation Day should be a source of joy,

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unless you're the student at Anglia Ruskin University

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who needed stitches after being hit by a flying mortarboard.

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Bizarrely 24 cases of classroom catastrophes involved wild animals.

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Such was the case at a school in Michigan in 2008

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where a class of little dears was terrorised by a much bigger deer,

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who popped in to teach them all a lesson.

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The brave buck burst in through the window

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before realising he should have been in Room 2b for double French

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and making a break for it.

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Au revoir, my dears!

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Our next patient tonight is A&E auditionee, Robert Sutcliffe.

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A wannabe starlet with a weird wound.

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Robert's been brought to Bradford Royal Infirmary by wife, Jules,

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after stabbing himself in the leg with a carving knife.

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He's plunged the blade in with so much force

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that it came out the other side.

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I'll probably get an award for the most stupid man on the planet but...

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JULES LAUGHS

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Ah, don't be too hard on yourself, Robert.

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Not many people can claim to have single-handedly invented a new sport.

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Extreme karaoke.

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The night before, having stayed in to watch X Factor,

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Robert popped to the kitchen to collect a freshly baked pizza.

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Mmmmm, pizza.

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Having sliced it up, he was about to come back

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when he heard his favourite song coming on.

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# Diamonds are forever... #

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Robert needed a mic and grabbed the closest thing to hand,

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a ten inch carving knife.

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Dancing enthusiastically, his razor sharp rendition

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came to an abrupt end as he sank the blade into his leg.

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Oh, no.

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First up to judge Robert's X Factor folly

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is senior nurse practitioner Simon Besford.

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Right, go on, what's happened?

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Right, I were watching X Factor, picked up a knife

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and I held the knife as a microphone and I were dancing

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with my hands like that and accidentally stuck the knife in me.

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-I think he were trying to impress the dog.

-I do it all the time.

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-Ahh!

-Oh, sorry, love.

-Jesus!

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OK, what I'd like you to do is just pop down here.

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It might all sound like a bit of a daft disaster,

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but a stab wound from a ten inch knife is a major injury.

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Simon needs to inspect the gash, sharpish.

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-You've had a fair old whack, haven't you?

-Yeah.

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Robert's entry and exit wound is certainly impressing this judge.

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-Tender round there?

-Yeah.

-Tender round there?

-Yeah.

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All that just messing about, you know, dancing and acting stupid.

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The area's really painful and given the depth of it,

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Simon's concerned that Robert may have damaged the nerves,

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which can lead to loss of function or sensation in the leg,

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or, worse still, hit a vessel that supplies blood

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to the rest of the limb.

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Sorry, you've got quite a haematoma, which is what we call

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a massive accumulation of blood just round here. You can feel it.

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You've probably caught a vessel that feeds

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that muscle round here, which is why you've got this spurting.

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If a vessel or artery's damaged, Robert would need immediate surgery.

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Simon calls in A&E specialist, Dr Ragu Nathan, for a closer look.

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-Hiya.

-Hello. Just check your pulse to begin with.

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A weak pulse below the wound could indicate

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Robert is bleeding out of a damaged blood vessel.

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It is a serious injury because the worse scenario can be

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if you're unlucky and if it's a large vessel,

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it needs treatment straight away. Otherwise, he may bleed to death.

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Or if he cuts a nerve, then it is dangerous.

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Your pulses are OK.

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Robert's been incredibly lucky

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and managed to miss any of the vital arteries.

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I think what has happened is you've damaged some muscle fibres.

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-Yeah.

-So what we'll do is we'll put a good dressing on that,

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put you on some good antibiotics,

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-and then we'll see how it is getting on. Yeah?

-Thanks.

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-But before he can leave...

-Just going to give it a little clean.

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..there's a small matter of cleaning out his agonising wound.

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Oh!

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The build up of hardened blood in Robert's thigh

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has made it incredibly tender.

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If he'd have come to A&E last night straight after stabbing himself,

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rather than waiting until today, he could've avoided all this agony.

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If you want to be famous it's the price you've got to pay.

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No pain, no gain.

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Yeah...I think I'd rather not.

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I'm going to hide all the knives when I get home.

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Once clean, nurse Simon can apply an antiseptic strip

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and bandage up the leg before dishing out one last bit of advice.

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Watch Strictly Come Dancing instead. It's safer.

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Yeah! It's a bit slower!

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Robert might not be heading to Boot Camp,

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but he'll need a bit of help to take the weight off his feet.

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Just pop your hands in there.

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He's packed off with crutches, some antibiotics to combat pizza-based infection

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and strict instructions to knock extreme karaoke on the head.

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Thanks a lot, love.

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But Bradford's latest reality star is going to have to learn

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to live with his new-found celebrity.

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You've got the X Factor!

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Very funny!

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With the adoration of his public ringing in his ears,

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but having received the lowest number of votes,

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Robert's heading home.

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Next we're heading to Northampton General

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where Tom Smith has arrived

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after spending most of the afternoon up a ladder.

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But it isn't a nasty tumble from a great height

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that's landed Tom in A&E.

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Just got blotches everywhere, all over my skin, up my back. Just everywhere.

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But Tom's not allergic to ladders, his weird rash is the result

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of an odd encounter whilst he was three storeys up.

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Hello.

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-Plumber, Tom, was using his power drill...

-Yeah!

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..on top of a ladder,

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-20 feet off the ground.

-It's all good.

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All was good when suddenly disaster struck.

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Out of nowhere a wasp went on the offensive

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sticking its stinger into Tom.

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Tom was almost toppled, but it wasn't the prospect

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of plummeting to the ground he had to worry about.

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Once down off the ladder, his ears started ringing

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and his face turned red. So he was sent straight to A&E.

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With Tom's immune system buzzing and with the rash spreading fast,

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staff rush him through for urgent treatment.

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-I'm in blotches everywhere, all over my body.

-Can you catch it?

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Girlfriend Georgina arrives with her sister

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and the couple's daughter, Summer.

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-I can't believe it's just come out so quickly.

-It was instant.

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-Is it on your legs and everything?

-Everywhere, all over my legs.

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-I don't feel right, babe.

-It's all right, you can keep that.

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With these touching parting words, Tom heads off for treatment.

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-Where are the stings?

-Everywhere. I got stung on my neck...

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Let's have a look. Can you turn for me? OK.

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I got stung on my neck and straight away, my whole body, it's just everywhere.

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To be honest, I wasn't really very worried until I saw him

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and it looks really painful, doesn't it?

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Using their own big steel stinger, medics put a line in Tom's arm

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and take blood for analysis. Their biggest concern is anaphylaxis.

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Worst case scenario for anaphylaxis

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is the airway swells and the person struggles to breathe.

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The blood pressure starts to drop very quickly. It can prove fatal.

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Staff inject antihistamine,

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hoping this will help rid Tom of his bizarre blotches.

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With Tom now in safe hands and receiving treatment,

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Georgina's attention turns to other things.

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Is it on his willy? Is it everywhere?

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Tom's just as preoccupied with the size of his stinger.

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You never know, the swelling stays down there,

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it might, you know, put a couple of extra inches on it for me!

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Horrible. I bet she's out there having a right laugh, isn't she?

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-Speak of the devil.

-Hello. Is everything all right?

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Hey, steady on now, guys.

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I hope it'll clear up by the time we go to bed tonight,

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or else I'll have to sleep next to that.

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-You can sleep on the sofa, love.

-You can sleep on the sofa.

-No, you can.

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The drugs seem to be taking effect, but nurse Rachel wants to check Tom's blood sugar.

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That's fine. 5.6, that's normal.

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And make sure his blood pressure is heading in the right direction.

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Everything within the normal range.

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Before Doctor Subramanian comes in for a final check-up.

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-Open your mouth for me. Say, "Ahh".

-Ahh.

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You're fine. Everything is going OK, so I'll discharge you.

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Yeah, yeah.

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OK, take care.

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Thank you very much.

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So Tom can buzz off home,

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where Georgina will be waiting,

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ready to keep a close eye on any swellings during the night.

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Bizarre accidents aren't restricted to Northampton, and doctors deal with a range

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of extraordinary emergencies across the UK.

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After a terrifying car crash, one man's life, limb and face was in peril

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until inspired surgeons came up with some surreal solutions to fix him,

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which included using his earlobe to make a new lip.

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-Meet Sean.

-Hi.

-He's a bit of a petrol head.

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I just love cars to bits.

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But Sean's love of motors almost killed him, when in a devastating accident,

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he wrote off his car, as well as his face.

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Surgeons would have to rebuild him, harvesting bits of his own ear to mend his mouth.

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MUSIC: "Highway To Hell" by AC/DC.

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Sean's journey down the A-road to hell started simply enough.

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It was a torrential thunderstorm at the time I set off. I just managed to hit a very flooded patch of road.

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Sean lost control of the car and it flipped over and over.

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The only thing that went through my mind was the words, "Oh, shit".

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I knew I was going to hit something very hard.

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And that hard thing was this hard fence.

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Three massive fence posts, four feet long, forced their way through Sean's body.

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Unbelievably, Sean was still conscious.

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The pain was unbearable as he lay impaled in the seat of his car,

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the lower part of his face annihilated.

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It was exactly this type of fencing, part of it had gone through my leg,

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part through my chest and part through my jaw.

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Rescue teams rushed to the scene.

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It was just horror to see this chap in the car,

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lower half of his face missing.

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The four minutes it took the fire crew to open the car felt like a lifetime.

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We had to work quickly, get the windscreen out,

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get at the gentleman and then we could treat him.

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He was hardly breathing, and rescue crews feared for his life.

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We suspected that he may die from his injuries on the way to the hospital,

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or in theatre once he got there.

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In fact, he died twice in the ambulance

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on the way to the hospital.

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As Sean arrived at hospital,

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he was met by a tag team of trauma experts.

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One would work on his face...

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75% of his lower lip was missing.

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While the other simultaneously tried to save his shoulder.

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Quite literally, he was a mess.

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Maxillofacial surgeon Peter Leopard quickly set about the task of rebuilding Sean's jaw.

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The jaw was in nine pieces.

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Like a horrific 3D jigsaw, using a series of plates and screws,

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his jawbone was painstakingly put back together.

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These are bone screws holding the fragments together.

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Reconstructing the jigsaw is really quite tricky sometimes.

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With Sean's jaw repaired, he now needed new lips.

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That's difficult, where you've got three-quarters of the lower lip missing, still at the roadside.

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Lips are more important than you think - not only do they hold things in our mouth,

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they help us eat, and we need them to speak.

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Doctors would have to make Sean some new ones. But what from?

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Earlobes provides a reasonable profile, similar to the lower lip.

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Bizarrely, surgeons harvested Sean's own earlobe

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and stitched it onto what remained of his lips.

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While Peter Leopard was rearranging Sean's face,

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Jon Dwyer was right by his side, repairing the damage done to Sean's shoulder.

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All of the muscles and tendons and ligaments that normally stabilise a shoulder

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had been ripped off. It was the most bizarre injury I have ever encountered.

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He began by cleaning out the wound.

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Dirty, rotten, wooden,

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mouldy fence post material, of which there was an awful lot.

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There was a large risk of infection, so the wound was kept open

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and cleaned meticulously, which proved time-consuming.

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It ran over into Friday 13th.

0:19:220:19:24

The fence post had smashed the shoulder to smithereens.

0:19:300:19:33

Normally, an arm this badly damaged would be amputated,

0:19:330:19:37

but as Sean was left-handed, they decided to rescue the limb.

0:19:370:19:40

Surgeons had done a remarkable job,

0:19:430:19:45

but it was by no means the end of the road.

0:19:450:19:48

The repairs were only temporary, and they'd have to use all their ingenuity and skill

0:19:480:19:52

to devise more permanent solutions for Sean.

0:19:520:19:56

Their biggest challenges lay ahead.

0:19:560:19:59

Sean's earlobe lip didn't last long, so he needed another new set of smackers.

0:20:010:20:05

The best solution would be an Abbe nasal flap, which would involve drawing part of the upper lip down

0:20:050:20:12

to connect to its lower lip before slitting across the connective tissue.

0:20:120:20:16

They took this section from my upper lip, stitched it to my lower lip.

0:20:160:20:21

I couldn't open my mouth properly, I just had two small apertures either side, in the corner of my mouth.

0:20:210:20:27

Which would mean Sean's mouth would be stitched together for ten days, waiting for the skin to graft.

0:20:270:20:33

I developed a new skill, the ability to eat chips and push them through the holes in my face.

0:20:330:20:38

Finally, Sean's new mouth was cut open

0:20:380:20:41

and he was able to enjoy his first meal of choice...a burger.

0:20:410:20:45

While Sean's new mouth was being made, surgeons were also looking at ways to fix his shoulder,

0:20:450:20:50

which had so much muscle damage that regular medical devices couldn't be used.

0:20:500:20:54

Surgeons embarked on a solution that was both bizarre and lengthy, taking two years to complete.

0:20:550:21:01

They deployed a device usually used in children's hip replacements,

0:21:010:21:05

as it was the perfect size for Sean's shoulder.

0:21:050:21:08

They lengthened the arm by cutting the bone

0:21:080:21:11

and letting it grow back while being stretched by an external fixator.

0:21:110:21:16

The arm that was almost amputated made an amazing recovery,

0:21:160:21:20

allowing Sean to get on with life.

0:21:200:21:22

So even though I have no rotational joint, I do have the ability to move my arm up and down.

0:21:220:21:27

He'll be able to reach his mouth, the back of his head, or his backside,

0:21:270:21:32

which is the important function of the elbow and shoulder together.

0:21:320:21:35

I've never asked him about his backside - the doctor-patient relationship will only go so far!

0:21:350:21:40

We're both delighted that he survived and made a good recovery.

0:21:420:21:46

I've never known anybody to suffer injuries like that and survive it...

0:21:460:21:51

in 37 years.

0:21:510:21:52

Thanks to the quick response of rescue teams,

0:21:520:21:56

and the staggering skill of surgeons, Sean's able to live life to the full.

0:21:560:22:01

No matter how bleak things get, there's always a chance

0:22:010:22:04

that things will be better round the corner, and I've never given up.

0:22:040:22:08

Next, we're at Bradford Royal Infirmary, where printing press operator Denise Swithenbank

0:22:140:22:19

has been rushed to A&E with a hand like a newspaper.

0:22:190:22:24

Yes, that's right... it's red all over!

0:22:240:22:26

I daren't look at it, but I did hear it pop when it went in the machine.

0:22:260:22:30

You've got a nasty cut right through it, really... OK?

0:22:300:22:33

Viewers who don't want to see exactly what popped should look away now.

0:22:330:22:36

-Is it a mess?

-Yeah.

0:22:390:22:42

An hour ago, Denise was repairing the conveyor belt on a machine at work.

0:22:420:22:47

With the belt back on the rollers, she turned the machine on, but it slipped out of position.

0:22:470:22:52

Without turning the machine off, she leant in to grab the belt.

0:22:520:22:56

Her fingers were sucked into the rollers, pulled along the belt and mangled by the mechanism.

0:22:560:23:02

Yeah, just try and make a fist with this finger for me.

0:23:040:23:07

It looks like she's cut the arteries that supply the tip of the finger and the nerves.

0:23:070:23:13

Which means it'll probably be better from her point of view

0:23:130:23:16

to do an amputation of the bit of finger

0:23:160:23:18

that's three-quarter chopped off already.

0:23:180:23:21

Denise's digit is so badly damaged, Mr Bradley fears she may lose half of it,

0:23:210:23:27

but his first priority is pain relief,

0:23:270:23:29

which he needs to pump directly into the site of the wound.

0:23:290:23:31

That means injecting a mixture of fast and slow-acting anaesthetics to block the pain.

0:23:310:23:38

-It's just two little injections... Is that very sore?

-No, it's fine.

0:23:380:23:43

-OK.

-Once the needle's gone in, it's fine.

0:23:430:23:46

-Ooh, that's sore.

-I'm sorry.

0:23:460:23:50

Unfortunately for Denise, this painkiller hurts.

0:23:500:23:52

One more injection, just nice and relaxed.

0:23:520:23:55

Ooh! Ouch!

0:23:550:23:57

-OK. How does your middle finger feel?

-That's fine.

-You sure?

-Yeah.

0:23:570:24:02

You just saying that cos you don't want another injection?

0:24:020:24:06

Anything but another injection!

0:24:060:24:08

Denise remains incredibly brave, but there's more bad news to come.

0:24:080:24:12

This time about her wedding ring.

0:24:120:24:15

If you have a rigid ring, it can act like a tourniquet as it swells,

0:24:150:24:18

it can cut the blood supply off in the most severe cases.

0:24:180:24:22

The ring has been on Denise's finger for 27 happy years,

0:24:220:24:25

but today, it's got to come off.

0:24:250:24:27

My husband will have to buy me a new one.

0:24:270:24:30

That's if he doesn't divorce me for being so stupid!

0:24:300:24:34

Just pop your finger there for me.

0:24:340:24:36

As her paw's all puffed up, it's not just a matter of slipping it off,

0:24:360:24:40

and staff have to resort to the ring cutter.

0:24:400:24:43

It's quite a thick ring... there we are.

0:24:430:24:46

Surgery on a wedding ring!

0:24:460:24:49

You can have them repaired at the jewellers - it's quite misshaped anyway, so...

0:24:490:24:53

27 years of hitting my husband over the head!

0:24:530:24:58

With the ring removed, Mr Bradley can finally send Denise to X-ray to get a closer look at her hand,

0:24:580:25:04

fearing the results will point to amputation.

0:25:040:25:08

So, Doc, what are the headlines?

0:25:080:25:12

Well, it's pretty good, we might save the tip.

0:25:120:25:15

I'm pleasantly surprised, because it shows that the end bone of her finger,

0:25:150:25:19

the distal phalanx, has a few little fractures in it, but is largely intact.

0:25:190:25:23

But it will all depend on the blood supply. It's not as severe as I thought. She's very lucky.

0:25:230:25:29

Mr Bradley sends Denise up to see plastic surgeon Raghav Kulkarni,

0:25:320:25:37

who's been assigned the task of repairing her decimated digits.

0:25:370:25:42

This doesn't seem too bad, but we need to explore these cuts to see...

0:25:420:25:45

you don't seem to have done anything major, and the blood supply and vascularity to the finger

0:25:450:25:50

seems to be good and the tendons seem to be reasonably intact.

0:25:500:25:53

An hour later, Denise is on her way to theatre to have her finger stitched up.

0:25:530:25:58

Once she's under general anaesthetic, Raghav can have a good look at the wounds

0:25:580:26:03

on the index and middle fingers.

0:26:030:26:05

He checks for any dirt or debris, before stitching the fingers up

0:26:050:26:09

and then administers the ultimate medical manicure...

0:26:090:26:12

sticking her fingernail back on.

0:26:120:26:15

So now we're observing this finger, and seeing that it's kept warm and it pinks up,

0:26:150:26:20

and we expect it to pink up as time goes by.

0:26:200:26:23

This is probably one of the better outcomes that we're looking for. So far, things are positive.

0:26:230:26:27

The next afternoon, Denise's hand couldn't look more different.

0:26:270:26:32

It looks a thousand times better than yesterday.

0:26:320:26:35

Yesterday, I thought, "They'll never make that look any better."

0:26:350:26:39

I honestly expected two amputations when I came in yesterday.

0:26:390:26:43

I'm very impressed.

0:26:430:26:46

Ahh, just in time.

0:26:470:26:48

Meals on wheels with a hearty bowl of oxtail soup.

0:26:480:26:52

Not really - that's actually an antiseptic hand bath

0:26:520:26:55

for Denise to dip her digits in to kill off any germs.

0:26:550:26:58

-It's incredible what they've done.

-Before her hand's all dressed up with somewhere to go.

0:26:580:27:03

That's fine.

0:27:030:27:05

Remarkably, thanks to the combined efforts of the Bradford staff,

0:27:070:27:11

that evening, Denise and her patched-up paw are discharged

0:27:110:27:14

and we're happy to report that just two months on, her hand was on the mend

0:27:140:27:19

and hubby Chris could slip a new ring on her finger.

0:27:190:27:22

Next time on Bizarre ER,

0:27:270:27:30

a weird wound proves painful for one woodsman...

0:27:300:27:33

There's a bizarre blockage in one little lughole...

0:27:360:27:39

Is that all of it or just part of it?

0:27:390:27:41

And the mind-boggling story of how this woman broke her neck

0:27:410:27:46

after falling from a New Mexico mountain, and yet lived to tell us her tale.

0:27:460:27:51

When people fall straight down 20 feet, that's when terrible damage occurs to the human body,

0:27:510:27:58

and she fell three times that far.

0:27:580:28:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:190:28:23

E-mail - [email protected]

0:28:230:28:26

Featuring a man who stabbed himself in the leg after using a carving knife as a mic during an impromptu karaoke performance; a woman who nearly lost her fingers when she mangled her hand in a printing machine; a plumber whose massive reaction to a wasp sting left him covered in bizarre blotches; and a toddler with a staple stuck in her gum.

Plus, how surgeons used part of a man's ear to mend his mouth after his jaw was decimated in a catastrophic car crash.


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