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Man With Metal Rod in Brain and Skull Survives TBI


A new case report says that a man from Portugal who got a metal road stuck in his head lived with only minor injuries.

A Metal Rod Enters the Head

The journal BMJ Case Reports wrote about the case and how the man in his 40s got through the trauma.

According to the case report, the person was taken right away to the emergency room at Coimbra Hospital and University Centre after they had a “transorbital intracranial penetrating injury.”

Frontal Lobe of the Brain

Stephanie J. Forkel, a neurologist at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands, says that the metal got into the man’s brain from the bottom of the frontal lobe and moved into the temporal lobe.

Forkel says that the temporal lobe is important for feelings, language, memory, and processing what we see, but it depends on which part of the lobe was damaged and how much of it was detached.

A neuroscientist said that the patient in the BMJ Case Reports was hurt by a blunt instrument, but the wound was on the side. This saved the part of the brain network that controls memory and emotions.

The authors of the paper used the fact that the metal was stuck in front of the temporal lobe to back up their claim. This means that visual processing shouldn’t be affected.

Forkel says that the patient’s injury may have made it hard for him to speak for a short time.

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How Did He Manage to Survive?

There are a lot of questions about what happened, like how the man lived after a hard metal rod was pushed into his head and brain. The patient was lucky, the case report says, because the metal rod didn’t hit the blood vessels in his brain.

Tony Rao, a visiting researcher at King’s College in London, told Newsweek that the size, shape, and location of where the rod went in saved the patient’s life.

Related Incident

Even though it is unusual to find a metal rod inside a person’s skull, foreign metal objects do sometimes get into the brain and skulls of humans. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and even death can be caused by bullet holes or other wounds to the head.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), gunshot wounds to the head are now the leading cause of TBI in many urban areas of the United States. Surgical therapy can help these patients as long as their blood pressure and oxygenation can be kept up.

In 2019, a group of neurosurgeons in India did the unthinkable: they took out an iron rod that had gone through a man’s whole head. The man was working on a building site when he fell into a well and hit his head on a rod.

The worker only had very minor injuries from the accident and surgery.

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