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Doctor Uses Household Drill for Boy Brain Op

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Daily Mail: A doctor in a small Australian town has saved a young boy's life by using a household electric drill to bore into the youngster's skull to relieve pressure from his brain.

Medical experts agree that if Dr Rob Carson had not carried out the bizarre emergency operation, 12-year-old Nicholas Rossi would have died within a short time.

'There were only minutes to spare,' Dr Carson revealed.

'Dr Carson told me all he can remember saying is: 'Get the Black and Decker',' Nicholas's father Michael Rossi told The Australian newspaper.

Nicholas had been riding his bike in a quite cul de sac near a friend's house, when he fell off and struck his head on the pavement.

He was not wearing a helmet.

Although he was knocked out for a few seconds, he came around and said he felt fine, his father, Mr Rossi said.

But when he got home, Nicholas began complaining of a headache.

His mother Karen, a trained nurse, drove him to the local hospital in the small town of Maryborough, in Victoria, where Dr Carson was on duty.

Nicholas was kept under observation but an hour later he began to pass in and out of consciousness - and then the spasms began.

Dr Carson realised the boy was in serious trouble.

He recognised the spasms as a sign of internal bleeding in the skull, the result being pressure on the brain.

This was the same fatal condition that claimed the life of actress Natasha Richardson, actor Liam Neeson's wife.

Dr Carson also saw that one of the boy's pupils was larger than the other, a further sign of internal bleeding.

'Dr Carson came over to us and said "I am going to have to drill into Nicholas to relieve the pressure on the brain. We've only got one shot at this and one shot only,' Mr Rossie told The Australian.

Because the small hospital was not equipped with neurological drills, Dr Carson rushed to the hospital maintenance room where he found a household De Walt drill, which is used for boring holes in wood.

Before he went further, he telephoned a leading neurosurgeon in Melbourne, Mr David Wallace, and asked for his assistance in talking him through the unusual operation, which he had never carried out before.

'He drilled into my son's head and we heard the suction,' said Mr Rossi.

The doctor continued drilling until a blood clot fell out. It was then decided that Nicholas was stable enough to be sent by helicopter to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital.

It was learned later that when Nicholas fell from his bike, he fractured his skull and tore a small artery between the bone and the brain just above his ear. The blood that resulted became trapped, forming a clot and placing pressure on the brain.

'You just do those things,' said Dr Carson.

'It's not a personal achievement. It's just part of the job. I had a very good team of people helping me.'

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