Medics finish life-saving brain surgery as quake hits | Updated: 2024-01-26 06:30
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[video from People's Daily]

A group of medical staff in Alaer, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region completed an unstoppable brain surgery during the late hours as a 7.1-maganitude earthquake hit its adjacent Aksu prefecture on Tuesday, People's Daily reported.

In the evening of Jan 22, a 47-year-old man who had suffered severe injuries in a car accident was rushed to an emergency room in a local hospital. Already in shock, he was found with multiple traumas, especially a critical head injury.

Immediate craniotomy hematoma removal surgery was needed to stop the life-threatening situation.

A work photo of An Shufang. [Photo/People's Daily]

At about 11:00 pm, the operation started. About three hours later, the removal of brain hematoma was finished. When An Shufang, the primary surgeon, was about to suture the patient's scalp, the seismic wave reached the hospital.

"Earthquake!" The nurse watching the monitor sensed the abnormality first. Yet, the surgeons were too concentrated on the operation to notice the situation. After the nurse repeated themselves, the surgeons finally lifted their heads and noticed the danger.

The suspended IV stands was swaying, the surgical tables and equipment violently shaking. Yet, if the operation was suspended and the patient's skull was left open, his life would be endangered as well.

"Calm down! Calm down!" Dr. An and the medical staff reassured each other.

After ensuring that all related facilities were in good condition, they decided to continue the surgery after simple eye contact.

At 2:07 am Jan 23, An Shufang and his colleagues were performing an intracranial hematoma removal operation during the earthquake. [Photo/People's Daily]

However, the shaking kept intensifying as the operation proceeded, and the paramedics on the side had to hold the operation table tightly to stabilize it while An continued the operation - quite a challenging environment for the precision required in a delicate brain surgery.

"Once a craniotomy operation starts, it cannot be stopped," An said. "So, I did not think much at the moment, just insisted on finishing the surgery."

"When standing by the surgical table, we must put the patient first," he added.

By virtue of An's team's calmness and excellent professional skills, the medical team successfully completed the high-risk surgery around 3:00 am.

An Shufang and his colleagues take care of a patient. [Photo/People's Daily]

An's assistant came from Wushi county, the epicenter of the quake. After the surgery ended, he hurried to contact his family. Knowing that his family was fine, everyone finally let go their worries.

The patient recovered well after the surgery, and is now receiving subsequent therapies.

The story of An and his team sticking to their posts during the earthquake touched many netizens. They left heartfelt comments: "Thumbs-up for the angels in white!" "They are kind-hearted doctors with great love and selflessness."

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