Monday, March 05, 2007

Youngstown boy shot in chest, remove bullet from the leg

In Youngstown last week a playmate accidentally shot Harry Besharre, 13. in the chest, directly over the heart. When Harry reached the hospital he complained less of the pain in his chest than of a gripe in his left groin. X-rays showed a strange accident. The 22-calibre bullet which struck the boy's heart was in the main artery of his left leg. It had traveled there, surmised surgeons, by piercing the heart and entering the left auricle. Contraction of the heart pushed the small lead pellet into the left ventricle, whence further pulsation drove it into the aorta, main feeder of the arterial system.

There is where the boy, having survived the puncture of his heart, ran his second greatest risk. One branch of the aorta goes to the head and brain. The other branch goes to the trunk and limbs. Had the bullet been carried by the flowing blood and pulsing artery up toward the brain, it would quickly have plugged some small bore artery, caused quick death. Instead, the pellet turned downward, worked into the left iliac artery, then the left femoral. Surgeons last week left it there, hoping it would work further down the leg where its removal would be less risky to Harry Besharre's life.

Source: Time Magazine, Monday, Jan. 11, 1932, link here

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