Abu Dhabi: Emirati girl’s fingers saved from amputation after marble top falls on her hand

Oxygen therapy helped save tissues in her three middle fingers from getting impacted beyond repair


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 2:04 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 5:35 PM

A 13-year-old girl’s fingers were saved from amputation, thanks to doctors at an Abu Dhabi hospital.

When the girl was brought into the Burjeel Darak Centre at Burjeel Medical City, she was in severe trauma and pain after a marble top had fallen on her palm.

She had multiple fractures of the bones in three middle fingers and the blood vessels impacted by the injury.

In such injuries, if a patient is not quickly attended to, there is a risk of gangrene and even amputation as the fingers start turning blue following stoppage of blood circulation.

Dr Mohab Ahmed Shafei, a specialist in hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Burjeel Medical City, said: “There was damage in the fingers with multiple fractures of the bones of the three middle fingers which had severe vascular injury.”

The girl, whose identity is being kept anonymous upon the family’s request, had to undergo an urgent operation for bone fracture fixation and grafting of one of her fingers.

The doctors then introduced the hyperbaric oxygen therapy which helped the tissue to get three times more oxygen, thus improving the blood flow to the fingers.

“We began hyperbaric oxygen therapy immediately. She had 10 sessions which saved her fingers. We repaired the fractures and tied the pegs. Without treatment, gangrene and amputation of the pigments could have occurred,” he said.

“We felt the need to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy as it increases the ability of the skin and the body to absorb three times more oxygen. The therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. She had to undergo 10 sessions of treatment that helped in restoring the blood flow and oxygen to the fingers,” Dr Shafei said.

Doctors said that in this case, a plastic surgeon also helped in the treatment of one of her fingers, as it needed treatment to encourage healthy tissue growth.

In a statement shared with Khaleej Times, the girl’s family said: “The injury happened when a marble table top dropped on our daughter’s hand causing broken bones and tissues. The challenging part for us as parents was that we felt her future may be dramatically affected due to the loss of three fingers. The hyperbaric oxygen therapy saved the tissues, otherwise, (the doctors told us) it would have led to tissues necrosis (death of body tissue).

“My advice to parents is to take care of their children and keep them away from dangerous zones. I would also strongly recommend fast action as time is important in such cases, with every minute making a huge difference.”


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