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INJURY

Brake lever stuck in boy’s thigh for four months

An 11-year-old boy from Hérault who fell on the handlebars of his bicycle last May learned this week that a brake lever was lodged in his thigh for four months without his being aware of it.

The boy, identified as Dylan, wondered why a wound on his leg would not heal and sought help from the Saint-Privat de Béziers health clinic near his home in the Hérault region.

Doctors examining the wound discovered a seven-centimetre long brake lever buried beneath the skin, according to a report from Le Midi Libre on Thursday.

The newspaper reported that after the bike accident occurred the boy was treated too hastily.

Doctors stitched up the deep wound without checking to see if there was any debris inside.

It was a mistake that caused the boy four months of pain because the wound would not heal, the newspaper said.

The surgeon who recovered the brake lever this week was astonished by the find.

“I’ve never seen that,” he was quoting as saying to Dylan’s parents by Le Midi Libre.

The discovery was made after a check revealed a part of Dylan’s trousers was sticking out of the wound.

A decision was made to operate and the bike part was subsequently found and removed.

Judging from a photo of the victim, Dylan appears to be recovering well.

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HOSPITAL

Furious Frenchwoman forced to fly to US to get new hands

A French amputee has hit out at her country's health system claiming she was forced to get a double hand transplant on the other side of the Atlantic - even though France was the first country in the world to do a hand transplant.

Furious Frenchwoman forced to fly to US to get new hands
Photo: AFP
A Frenchwoman called Laura was 19 years old when a sepsis infection left her with no choice but to have her hands amputated below the elbow. 
 
Now aged 28, the woman has told how this summer she decided to get two new hands in an operation in the US rather than wait around for France to help, reported Le Figaro newspaper
 
“In France we have the medical means to do this kind of surgery. It's heartbreaking, it's maddening, it's outrageous,” she told the paper. 
 
And she's right. France is a pioneer in the field of hand transplants, and was actually the first country in the world to carry out a successful hand transplant, which took place at a Lyon hospital in 1998.
 
But the operation today is a costly one filled with administrative hurdles. 
 
Laura reportedly spent two years on the waiting list in France after going through all the administrative mazes, only to hear nothing from the hospitals. 
 
Her doctor in France said that to make matters worse, nurses hadn't even been told that they should be asking the families of the deceased whether they'd give the green light to donate the hands of their dead relatives. 
 
Eventually, the Frenchwoman was told that she had been removed from the waiting list. 
 
Deterred but still determined, she contacted a leading doctor in Philadelphia to ask for his help. 
 
By late June this year she was on the waiting list, and she got a call in late August to say there was a set of hands waiting for her. 
 
Within a matter of days she was undergoing a mammoth surgery effort – that involved 40 medical workers and took eight hours – and the Frenchwoman was able to leave the hospital last week with two new hands.  
 
By the end of this month, she will return to Paris to carry out the rest of her rehabilitation on home soil. 
 
The story has proved inspirational for at least one other amputee in France, who has added herself to the same waiting list in the United States. 
 
“It's a shame to be massacred in a French hospital and then have to head to the US to get put back together,” the second amputee told Le Figaro. 
 
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