Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Worker Loses Leg in Spokane Industrial Accident

A 29-year-old man was freed from a stainless steel auger following an industrial accident by having his leg surgically removed during a rooftop rescue Friday morning, Spokane Fire officials said.

The man was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center via MedStar helicopter shortly after 8 a.m. Friday. Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the patient was in stable condition Friday afternoon and Intensive Care Unit doctors said he "was doing exceptionally well."

"Our last resort in that situation is to surgically remove the leg," Schaeffer said. The height of the rescue, occurring about six stories above ground level, caused the situation to develop rapidly and required rescuers to call in surgeons who performed the procedure with the patient under sedation in a makeshift surgical suite, Schaeffer said.

The man was conscious and in serious condition when airlifted from the scene of the accident, Spokane Fire Department deputy chief Dave Leavenworth said.

Rescue crews were called to the Purina Mill, 4714 E. Trent Ave., at 6:48 a.m. Friday and had to climb multiple stories to reach the man, who was stuck above a grain mill on an external catwalk, Leavenworth said. A gondola attached to a crane ultimately was used to lift rescue personnel to the site and to lower the patient to the ground.

Police picked up orthopedic and vascular surgeons to assist and took them to the Purina Mill.

Rescue crews were not able to dismantle the stainless steel auger, Leavenworth said. They tried to cut it away from the man, but could not. Grain dust swirling around the equipment made the rescue process more complicated, he said.

The man's injuries are mostly to his right leg, which was caught in the auger below the knee.

Although the federal agency responsible for investigating workplace accidents is among those furloughed during the partial government shutdown, Washington investigations are conducted by state workers who are still on the job.

The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health enforces workplace safety rules across Washington state under agreement with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which pays the state about $19,000 a day for handling those duties.

A spokeswoman for the state program said Washington is hoping to recover the federal payments when the partial federal shutdown is resolved.
 



RELATED ARTICLES

FERNO's New 'Proof of Concept' Ambulance has the EMS Industry Talking

You'll hear a lot more about this innovative new ambulance interior, so I will just highlight what its most impressive offerings are to me: Interchangable, c...

Washington State Signs Community Paramedicine Bill into Law

With a lot of passion and perseverance, it’s possible to change the history of EMS.

Firefighters Rescue Man Who Wedged Inside Wall to Evade Cops

A central Indiana man who hid inside a wall in his home to avoid arrest had to berescued by firefighters after he became wedged next to its chimney for ...

17 Patients Evaluated After Plane Makes Emergency Landing

SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said new information from medical personnel confirmed that "a total of three passengers reported a loss of consciousnes...

Nurse Practitioner Now Responding to EMS Calls with Green Valley Fire

The district has started a first of its kind program that brings urgent medical care right into a patient's home.

New WTC Study Focuses on EMS Personnel

New research shows that EMS workers who went to Ground Zero suffer from poor health.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers