Recently, an elderly man of 80 years was found with a slit throat in a local park in New Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh area. He was unconscious, bleeding profusely, and unable to breathe properly. On being alerted, the emergency team from Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh was dispatched and an attempt was made to stop the bleeding and stabilize the patient in the park itself. He was then shifted to the hospital where he was treated by a team of doctors led by Dr Rajat Gupta, Senior Consultant, Department of Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh. He was in shock. He was immediately taken to the operation theater. His throat laceration was deep and his airway, food pipe and voice box had been badly cut and damaged. His neck wound was packed with sterile dressing and pressure was applied to stop bleeding. Post this, he was intubated. This proved to be extremely challenging as his throat had been cut through and he needed to be intubated through the mouth. The surgery took 4 hours, and he was then shifted to the ICU where he was on ventilator support for 24 hours. He gradually recovered and his post-operative period was uneventful.
Talking about the case, Dr. Rajat Gupta, Senior Consultant, Department of Plastic surgery said, “Conducting this surgery was a real challenge for the team as complications could have arisen due to extensive blood loss, the age of the patient and the severity of the laceration. The patient was bleeding from multiple vessels and blood was oozing out from his mouth too. The surgical procedure involved repairing the defect in the laryngopharynx and strap muscles. A tracheostomy (breathing through a tube) and hemostasis (controlling the bleeding) were done, and soft tissues (along with the skin) were repaired. Post that we inserted a nasogastric tube to begin the feeding. Since the patient had low hemoglobin levels, one unit of PRBC was transfused.”