Surgery via text message

SmartCompany /

A British surgeon working in the Democratic Republic of Congo has performed a life-saving arm amputation with instructions received via text message.

David Nott needed to perform an amputation on a 16-year-old boy whose arm was bitten off by a hippopotamus, but the general and vascular surgeon had never carried out an amputation before.

So he did what anyone else would do – he asked. Nott sent a text message to Meirion Thomas, a surgeon in Britain who knew how to perform the procedure.

“He texted back step-by-step instructions on how to do it,” Nott told The Age. ” I took a deep breath and followed the instructions to the letter. I knew exactly what my colleague meant because we have operated together many times. It was just luck that I was there and could do it.”


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