Italian gets a 30cm long arrow in heart and survives

A man who was brought into an emergency department in Aosta, northern Italy, with an arrow in his heart, is out of danger after hours of surgery. That’s what the Molinette hospital in Turin, the hospital he was taken to by helicopter, announced today.

An arrow of no less than thirty centimeters pierced the left ventricle and the left lung of the Italian (47). The further circumstances of the incident are as yet unknown.

The fired object must have missed the vital parts of the heart, so the man was not killed instantly. He even remained conscious. Doctors in Aosta soon called in the help of the more specialized hospital in Turin, some 110 kilometers away. If he were flown by helicopter to Molinette, the man had more chance of survival.

Once transferred, the cardiac surgery team led by professor Mauro Rinaldi began the extraordinary procedure. With the least error, the risk of uncontrollable bleeding increased considerably. The team worked extremely meticulously and, among other things, created an extracorporeal emergency circulation (an artificial blood circulation via a heart-lung machine). They ultimately succeeded in their design. The arrow could be removed from the left ventricle. The patient woke up a few hours later from anesthesia and is out of danger.

Some Italian media reports that the man probably wanted to get out of life himself. He probably used a crossbow to do this. The investigation is not yet complete.

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