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Shocking CT scans show how woman was impaled by Christmas tree

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

Shocking CT scans show how woman was impaled by Christmas tree

Featured Image Credit: Clinical Case Reports

Warning: this article contains images some readers may find distressing 

Scan images show the shocking injuries a woman sustained after becoming impaled on an artificial Christmas tree. 

The 54-year-old, who hasn’t been named, fell from a stepladder and impaled herself on the ‘stem’ of the artificial tree. 

Miraculously, the woman from Northern Ireland survived and heaped praise on the expert team of medics who treated her, saying she ‘owed her life’ to them. 

Horrific scan images show the rod entering through the right side of the woman’s pelvis at a diagonal angle. 

Dimitrios Angelou and colleagues at Daisy Hill Hospital wrote about the unusual case in the medical journal Clinical Case Reports.

Credit: Clinical Case Reports
Credit: Clinical Case Reports

They explained: “Our patient is a 54-year-old lady who fell from a stepladder onto the metallic base of an artificial Christmas tree causing the stem of the tree to impale her through her right buttock into her pelvis.

“Despite the impressive mechanism of injury, there was no immediate life-threatening bleed and the patient was subsequently transferred to the local Major Trauma Centre for expert surgical management but suffered significant delays due to the lack of clear transfer pathways.”

The paper says it took firefighters around 90 minutes to safely cut away the pole so the woman could be given an x-ray. 

The team used numerous imaging processes, including X-rays and a CT scan with 3D reconstruction to take a look at the injury. 

Credit: Clinical Case Reports
Credit: Clinical Case Reports

She was taken to a specialist trauma unit so she could undergo the surgery required. The paper did not reveal how long the recovery process took, or what operation the woman underwent. However, she has confirmed that she has fully recovered from the shocking incident. 

The woman wrote: “Just want to add that I received excellent care and attention from ambulance to hospital. 

“All staff at hospital were extremely kind and supportive and simply owe my life to them.

“The aftercare from my local community was incredible also.

“The whole accident was a very worrying time for my family but fortunately I've recovered fully. Thank you so much.”

The authors of the paper hope it will highlight the importance of good collaboration with trauma receiving hospitals. 

They added: "Our aim is to stress the severity of penetrating buttock trauma and encourage clinicians to reflect on how trauma protocols work in their area."

Topics: UK News, Health

Claire Reid
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