DIY doctor performs cranial surgery

A small-town Australian doctor used a household drill to release a blood clot from the brain of a 13-year-old boy in what was hailed as an act of extreme bravery and skill.

Although the boy, who had been involved in a bicycle accident, seemed fine, his parents decided to take their son to the hospital after they discovered a lump behind his ear, after which he began to deteriorate and doctors had to use breathing apparatus.

“That’s where the two local GPs turned the emergency room into an operating theatre,” said the father.

Doctor David Tynan said it fast became apparent that if they didn’t act to relieve the pressure on the boy’s brain he was going to die, but as the hospital surgery was not equipped with a powerful enough drill, he had one fetched from the maintenance department.

“Under (telephone) instructions from a neurosurgeon in Melbourne, we made an incision in his scalp down to the bone and then drilled through it with a drill,” said the doctor.

A draining tube was inserted into the boy’s head to allow the blood to escape, and he received a transfusion of fresh blood in his arm.

He was then airlifted to Melbourne where he made a full recovery and was released from hospital on his 13th birthday.