December 6, 2008

A doctor volunteering in war-torn Congo performed a complex amputation to save a boy’s life by following instructions sent by text message from a colleague in London.

David Nott, 52, a vascular surgeon, was working for a Medicins Sans Frontieres hospital in the eastern town of Rutshuru, an area ravaged by bloody battles between Congolese and rebel troops.

The doctor realised the boy's best chance of survival was a forequarter amputation which requires the surgeon to remove the collar bone and shoulder blade. The only problem was that it was an operation Nott had never performed. But he remembered that one of his colleagues at home had carried out the procedure.

“In the end he would have died without it so I took a deep breath and followed the instructions to the letter"

No comments: