Friday, July 22, 2011

The Roofer Who Flew

Careflight Air Ambulance

The following article is a true account based on a story a doctor in the USA submitted to the infamous Darwin Awards website, involving a not too bright roofer he treated in his second year of residency.

The 35-year-old was admitted to the hospital upon falling from a roof, this apparently after having ignored his boss’s instruction to wear a safety harness. Nonetheless, he fell from the roof, fracturing his pelvis, his right femur, and his left tibia. The patient underwent surgery and was discharged from the hospital after completing a postoperative course but would be confined to a wheelchair for a period of recovery.

Nine hours later he arrived back by Careflight (air ambulance), looking far worse than he had before. He had torn the external fixator from one side of his pelvis, fractured his femur below the rod that had been used to fix it the first time, and fractured his tibia above the rod used to fix that, as well. This time around there was no roof involved.

It turned out that he and his brother-in-law decided to go bar hopping to celebrate his recovery. Since he was stuck in a wheelchair, they figured the best way to get him from bar to bar was to duct tape his wheelchair to the load box of the van, with him seated in it. In the early stages while still reasonably sober, the plan seemed to work before it went badly wrong.

Bearing in mind that they had not thought to duct-tape the roofer to his wheelchair, only the chair to the vehicle, when taking a corner, he was thrown from it at high speed.

Amazingly the patient was repaired, and recovered fully.

“I don't know if he ties himself off when roofing these days, but he hasn't been back to my hospital. I'm not sure how long he'll remain in the gene pool though, and he certainly deserves “At-Risk Survivor” status.”

Reference: Darwin Awards

Ernest Roper

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