Science journalist Miles O'Brien, who previously worked as correspondent and anchor on CNN, recently experienced an apparent minor accident which resulted in his left arm being amputated above the elbow. O'Brien reveals the story in a blog post, saying that the medical emergency started when he was stacking cases full of equipment after a reporting trip from Japan and the Philippines earlier this month.
At that time, one of the cases accidentally fell on his left forearm. "It hurt, but I wasn't all '911' about it. It was painful and swollen but I figured it would be okay without any medical intervention. Maybe a little bit of denial?" the journalist wrote. The next day, his arm was sore and swollen and the condition seemed worst that night.
The hotel referred him to a doctor in the morning and O'Brien went there right away. According to the doctor, he suffered from Acute Compartment Syndrome which may put his life in danger. The doctor suggested he underwent emergency fasciotomy to relieve the pressure in his arm. However, things got complicated during surgery and his blood pressure dropped, prompting the doctor to make the decision.
"It's been a challenging week dealing with the phantom pain, the vicissitudes of daily life with one hand and the worries about what lies ahead," he continued. "But I am alive and I'm grateful for that."