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Woman survives a bullet in her brain.

HEENA had little hope of survival after her spurned lover shot at her in a fit of rage. Three bullets pierce her in the brain, heart and hand. But today, a week later, the 24- year- old is recovering from the trauma thanks to doctors.

The young woman is an arts graduate from Delhi University and a resident of Daryaganj.

The police said she was attacked when she rejected a marriage offer.

One of the three bullets entered her left middle ear and broke her ear bone before getting embedded in the brain. The other two cut into her right arm and heart.

The injuries multiplied the threat of complications and doctors had little time to decide which problem to tackle first.

" Heena was brought to us at 10.30 pm last Saturday in a critical condition. She had multiple bullet injuries and was bleeding heavily," said Dr Amit Banerjee, medical superintendent at Lok Nayak Hospital where Heena was operated upon.

The doctors performed a CT scan of Heena's brain which showed a bullet deeply embedded in the inner side of the brain.

" We were shocked to see such a case. The bullet entered the brain through the left ear and hit the skull. She was lucky because the bullet did not damage any part of the brain that controls body functions," said Dr P. N. Pandey, the head of the neurosurgery department at Lok Nayak Hospital.

The doctors were worried since even a minor lapse in the surgery could cause the patient's death.

" Heena had a rib fracture, too, leading to haematoma or heavy loss of blood. This also added to the complexity of the surgery," said Pandey.

Haematoma caused her chest cavity to get filled with blood.

" The major blood loss led to a drop in her haemoglobin count.

She was given two units of blood before the surgery," said Dr Banwari Lal, co- surgeon on the surgical team.

The surgery, which lasted more than two hours, took place on March 31.

Though the bullet grazed bones and nerves in Heena's brain, she survived because none of them was damaged.

" The sigmoid bone and sinus was affected but saved. None of the major nerves was affected by the wound. Vital brain structures, veins and arteries supplying blood to the brain as well as the facial nerve were all touched but not damaged," said Dr Lal.

Though the doctors declared the operation successful, they have not ruled out the possibility of infections and other complications in future. " The bullet has damaged parts of her middle ear. This may cause conductive deafness in future. Though the bullet did not damage the inner ear, which controls the body's balance, there will be a slight impact in this aspect, too. She may suffer from dizziness and vertigo," said Dr Pandey.

Heena is now under constant observation of the doctors and is said to be " fine".

neetu.chandra@mailtoday.in

Heena's lucky escape

THE INITIAL DAMAGE

Three bullets were fired at Heena. She arrived in the hospital in critical condition. One of them entered her left ear, broke the ear bone and got embedded deeply in the inner part of her brain. One bullet wounded her in the right arm. The third bullet grazed her heart.

This led to heavy blood loss, reducing the haemoglobin count and filling her chest cavity with blood.

HOW HEENA SURVIVED

According to the Lok Nayak hospital, where Heena was operated upon, she was lucky.

Though the bullet that hit the brain touched bones and nerves, none of the vital parts that affect normal functions of the body was damaged. The sigmoid bone and sinus were affected, but not damaged beyond repair.

Similarly, the vital brain structures, arteries supplying blood to the brain and the facial nerves were left undamaged.

THE CURRENT STATUS

Doctors said the operation on Heena was successful. However they warned of complications in future. Though the bullet left the inner ear, which controls the body's balance, intact, Heena may suffer from vertigo and dizziness later in life. As the bullet damaged the middle ear, she may suffer from conductive deafness .

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Apr 5, 2010
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