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Victim of Nail-Gun Accident Survives a Delicate Surgery
LA Times ^ | May 6, 2004 | By William Wan

Posted on 05/06/2004 5:00:11 PM PDT by mylife

Victim of Nail-Gun Accident Survives a Delicate Surgery

A Lancaster construction worker is expected to fully recover after six nails were removed from his head, three embedded in his brain. By William Wan Times Staff Writer

May 6, 2004

When the medical helicopter arrived at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center last month, the patient inside was barely breathing, and doctors held little hope for him.

Construction worker Isidro Mejia had six nails in his head, including three embedded in his brain, one in his spinal column and one in his face.

While working at an Antelope Valley job site, Mejia, 39, stumbled on scaffolding and fell onto a co-worker who was using a nail gun, witnesses told authorities.

At the Mission Hills hospital, Dr. Rafael Quinonez looked at his comatose patient and puzzled over how to save him — with an operation that wasn't found in any medical books.

"The books, they cover bullets and maybe metal from car wrecks, but never nails in the head," the neurosurgeon said.

Over several days of operations, Quinonez and his team meticulously pulled out the nails. With X-rays as maps and a camera scope as his guide, the neurosurgeon found the head of each nail inside Mejia's skull and gingerly removed them.

On Wednesday, two weeks after his accident, Mejia said he felt lucky to be alive. Still hospitalized, the construction worker spoke slowly in Spanish. He had lost most of his English-speaking skills, doctors said, when one of the nails entered the frontal lobe of his brain, damaging the speech center.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: ouch
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X RAY

1 posted on 05/06/2004 5:00:11 PM PDT by mylife
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To: mylife
Holy cow.
2 posted on 05/06/2004 5:03:55 PM PDT by AQGeiger (Militant Islam is the gangrene among humankind.)
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To: AQGeiger
Wholly OW.

Or rather - ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, OW!
3 posted on 05/06/2004 5:06:54 PM PDT by dandelion
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To: AQGeiger
Yeah, thats gonna leave a mark.

Boy this guy is lucky if he makes a full recovery
4 posted on 05/06/2004 5:08:26 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: mylife
Hitting the nail on the head has a whole new meaning.
5 posted on 05/06/2004 5:10:45 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: mylife; speedy
There's been a spike in these type of incidents lately. It's about time the industry began to hammer the issue of nail-gun safety.
6 posted on 05/06/2004 5:11:17 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: mylife
I've done carpenter work almost twenty years. I've used many nail guns, from the 16d framing guns like the one used to plant those nails in buddy's, to small trim guns.

I work in a shop full of carpenters, and showed them the x-ray of buddy's head. All of us find it hard to believe this was an accident.

Possible yes, just hard to believe.

The first instinct when one is falling with tools in hand is to throw those tools.

7 posted on 05/06/2004 5:12:20 PM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (Donít go around stating the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.)
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To: mylife
The guy's fellow worker probably disabled the safety mechanism on the nail gun.
8 posted on 05/06/2004 5:12:35 PM PDT by ikka
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To: mylife
About 35 years ago TIME ran a story of a guy who "fell down" while waiting for a bus. When he came to he had a terrific headache that would not go away. After a day or two he went to the doctor who found 6 or 7 .22 entrance wounds. I still remember the diagram showing the path each .22 short took inside his head, none penetrated the skull.
9 posted on 05/06/2004 5:14:52 PM PDT by wtc911 (Europe without God plus islam = Eurabia)
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I've done carpenter work almost twenty years. I've used many nail guns, from the 16d framing guns like the one used to plant those nails in buddy's, to small trim guns.

Should read: ...

I've done carpenter work almost twenty years. I've used many nail guns, from the 16d framing guns like the one used to plant those nails in buddy's head, to small trim guns.

Sheesh.

10 posted on 05/06/2004 5:15:08 PM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (Donít go around stating the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.)
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To: mylife
There's something not quite right about this. I thought nail guns required a fair amount of pressure on the "muzzle" end before they could be fired? I'm wondering if maybe this guy ticked someone off, they held him down, and... thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk.
11 posted on 05/06/2004 5:15:45 PM PDT by holymoly (Only cops should have nail guns.)
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To: Vigilantcitizen
Yes but the victim fell onto the fellow with the nail gun.

when something falls on me my first instinct is to raise ny hands and shield myself, that would seem consistent with the injuries.
12 posted on 05/06/2004 5:15:54 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Joe 6-pack
It's about time the industry began to hammer the issue of nail-gun safety.

*groan*

13 posted on 05/06/2004 5:16:05 PM PDT by Poohbah (Darkdrake Lives!)
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To: mylife
Yes but the victim fell onto the fellow with the nail gun.

Yeah but, the trigger on the nail gun had to have been pressed each time. Nail guns are not machine guns.

14 posted on 05/06/2004 5:18:08 PM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (Donít go around stating the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.)
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To: mylife
Whew, he was lucky. He had a VERY good doctor. Hope he's more careful next time.
15 posted on 05/06/2004 5:20:42 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: ikka
The guy's fellow worker probably disabled the safety mechanism on the nail gun.

There is no soft mechanism on a nail gun, per se. The fact these were 3"+ nails indicates this was a framing nailer.

The only safety on a nail gun is in the nose of the nail gun. In order to fire the gun, you need to physically press the nose of the gun onto the work surface then pull the trigger OR vice versa [pull the trigger and then let the nose press do the firing].

Nail guns are coil or clip fed full-automatics. There is a peculiar behavior of nailguns in that when you fire them, the recoil tends to bounce the gun up an inch or so from the work surface, and then when the guns weight carries the nose back down, the gun will fire again if the trigger is still pressed.

Its not uncommon at all for the gun to double or triple tap before you even know what happened.

Having used nail guns for years, and employed people who have used them, and have shot themselves...here is how I think this happened.

During the fall, the panicked worker holding the nailgun kept his finger on the trigger [as its normal to do that], and the gun just did a couple of quick triple taps of this guys noggin...OR...the worker with the nailgun somehow got tangled up with this guy after the fall, and he was under the victim, with his hand on the trigger.

As bizarre as this story may sound to some freepers, I don't at all find it that strange or unusual.

16 posted on 05/06/2004 5:20:52 PM PDT by antaresequity
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To: Vigilantcitizen
Awww Jeeez!! I just posted the darn story, I dont want to have to explain the "bullet" theory. LOL
17 posted on 05/06/2004 5:20:53 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Vigilantcitizen
Yeah but, the trigger on the nail gun had to have been pressed each time. Nail guns are not machine guns.

You are wrong, nail guns are indeed fully automatic.

If the user is holding down the trigger...and the nose or discharge [muzzle] of the gun contacts or is depressed by the work surface, the gun will continue to fire until its empty.

Read my previous post.

18 posted on 05/06/2004 5:22:20 PM PDT by antaresequity
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To: Poohbah
*groan*

Let's face it, some people just don't use their head when it comes to working with dangerous tools.

19 posted on 05/06/2004 5:23:00 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Let's face it, some people just don't use their head when it comes to working with dangerous tools.

*double groan*

20 posted on 05/06/2004 5:23:31 PM PDT by Poohbah (Darkdrake Lives!)
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