Surgeon Removes Live Explosive from Afghan Soldier’s Head

Sunday, April 11, 2010
(photo: U.S. Air Force)

It’s not every day that Major John Bini, a U.S. military surgeon, dons body armor before going into the operating room. But he did just that after an Afghan soldier was brought in on March 18 with an unusual head wound—a nearly three-inch unexploded shell lodged in the patient’s scalp.

After realizing the foreign object was a live explosive, Bini evacuated the operating room, leaving only the anesthesiologist, Major Jeffrey Rengel, who put on body armor, to watch the patient. All electrical monitoring devices were turned off for fear of detonating the round, and a military bomb squad was called in. Using manual blood pressure cuffs and a battery-operated heart monitor to keep track of the patient’s vital signs, Bini operated with only Rengel in the room along with a member of the bomb team.
Bini safely removed the ordinance from the man’s skull. The patient did suffer a traumatic brain injury, but his neurological condition continues to improve.
The surgery was performed at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Airfield.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Medical Staff Removes UXO from Patient at Bagram (by Richard Williams, Bagram News Express)
Doctors Remove Ammunition From Soldier’s Head (by Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times)


Leave a comment