Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yasser Lopez: A Modern-Day Phineas Gage

Above is an x-ray released yesterday by Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida depicting a spear entering the head, traveling through the brain, and piercing the opposite skull surface of 16-year-old Yasser Lopez. The boy is on the road to recovery after being accidentally shot in the head while loading a speargun with a friend earlier this month

"It was about one inch above his right eye straight through," said trauma surgeon Dr. George Garcia. "You could feel the tip under the skin on the posterior part of the skull."

"The most important thing is to resist that temptation to pull the thing out," neurosurgeon Dr. Ross Bullock said. Bullock and his trauma neurosurgeon team determined the tip of the spear inside Lopez's head was actually a screw tip. "It was possible for us to figure out a strategy during the operation to be able to unscrew the tip of the spear, instead of having to get this whole spear dragged out through his brain," Bullock said.

Bullock said Lopez can speak normally. "He can, for example, he says he's not having pain. He's worried about the fact he can't use his left-side properly."

Lopez's story brings to mind that of Phineas P. Gage, whose left frontal lobe was obliterated by a railroad spike that exploded upward when he was tamping it down in 1848.

Phineas P. Gage (1823-1860)
As for the day he got shot, Lopez knows nothing. Doctors expect him to make a near-full recovery.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/18/2856543/doctors-miami-dade-teen-shot.html#storylink=cpy

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