Surgeons save man’s hand after Samurai nightmare
PHILLIP Warburton knew straight away that he was in trouble.
The Yamanto man has practised martial arts for the past 27 years, and for 17 of them had used the same samurai sword in demonstrations and training. It was while he was practising a quick draw technique that things went wrong.
"After 17 years, the case that holds the sword split," the 42-year-old said.
"The case hit the ground and nearly removed the fingers.
"In all the time I have been doing martial arts it's the first time I've cut myself.
"I guess it was one draw too many."
Mr Warburton's partner drove him to Ipswich Hospital's emergency department, where he was stabilised and prepared for surgery.
Ipswich Hospital registrar Sam Scaife was one of the team of 18 clinical staff including surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nursing staff who worked to save Mr Warburton's hand.
"After we began, we realised the extent of the damage," Dr Scaife said.
Brisbane specialist Dr Ben Kenny worked between his daily caseload to repair the damage to Mr Warburton's hand.
"Each finger has two arteries, nerves and tendons," Dr Kenny said.
"The nerve and the artery were intact on Mr Warburton's index finger. For the remaining fingers, eight tendons, seven arteries and seven nerves required repair. There was also damage to the joints, as the blade had been in line with the joints."
Dr Scaife and his team fixed one side of the hand while Dr Kenny did the other.
In all an operation expected to take about 5 hours took 15 hours.
Following surgery, Mr Warburton was in hospital for five days before discharge, where the hospital's Indigenous Hospital Liaison Officers, nursing team and Allied Health staff provided further care.
Mr Warburton has continued his involvement with Ipswich Hospital through physio and rehabilitation.
"When I woke up and realised I still had all my fingers, I said 'you're kidding me'," Mr Warburton said.
"I still have no feeling but I can move the fingers a little bit. I know this is going to be a long recovery."
Registrar Dr Luca Daniele said the medical team was proud of the effort.
"It was great work but in another sense, it was another day at the office," he said.
"We deal with terrible injuries and we usually have the skills to do that without referring patients to other institutions."
Mr Warburton said he had Ipswich Hospital to thank for saving his hand.
"If it wasn't for everyone, I wouldn't have a hand," he said