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Doctor uses power drill to save boy's life

A DOCTOR in rural Australia used a handyman's power drill to bore a hole into the skull of a boy with a severe head injury, saving his life.

Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike last Friday in the small Victoria state city of Maryborough, hitting his head on the pavement, his father Michael Rossi said yesterday. By the time Nicholas arrived at the hospital, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.

The doctor on duty, Rob Carson, quickly recognized the boy had potentially fatal bleeding on the brain and knew he had only minutes to make a hole in the boy's skull to relieve the pressure.

But the small hospital was not equipped with neurological drills - so Carson sent for a household drill from the maintenance room.

"Dr Carson came over to us and said: 'I am going to have to drill to relieve the pressure on the brain. We've got one shot at this and one shot only,'" Michael Rossi said.

Carson called a neurosurgeon in Melbourne for help and he talked Carson through the procedure by telling him where to aim the drill and how deep to go.

"All of a sudden the emergency ward was turned into an operating theater," Michael Rossi said. "We didn't see anything, but we heard the noises, heard the drill. It was just one of those surreal experiences."

Rossi was airlifted to a hospital in Melbourne and released on Tuesday - his 13th birthday.

A modest Carson said: "It is just a part of the job and I had a very good team of people helping me."


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