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Metal straw nearly kills four-year-old Long Island child in freak fall

Charlie DeFraia was enjoying summer yogurt on the porch, sipping from a metal straw, when the four-year-old lost his balance and fell. It was an ordinary moment that almost cost him his life.

The straw pierced Charlie’s tongue and throat and punctured his carotid artery, causing his internist father to realize how serious the injury could be. The carotid is one of the four main arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain.

“I just saw blood on his face. I assumed he broke his nose or his lip, or bit his tongue,” said the boy’s mother, Crystal DeFraia. Today earlier this month. “I could never have imagined it was as bad as it was.”

The straw remained in the drink and hadn’t broken the skin of his son’s throat, so initially it wasn’t as obvious how bad the situation was. The extreme amount of blood, however, was the terrifying giveaway, the outlet reported.

“It was obvious he was losing a lot of blood, and he actually stopped breathing on me a few times,” said Dr. Charles DeFraia, 38. Today. “I had to protect his airway, and that’s really all I could do at the time.”

An ambulance quickly arrived after the family called 911 and took Charlie to the hospital. Local police have closed the roads along the way to facilitate faster travel, Today reported.

“As a parent, you are spiraling. You watch your son die before your eyes,” Ms. DeFraia told the outlet.

Trauma doctors were initially also baffled by the extent of the four-year-old’s injuries.

“As soon as they brought him in, there was just blood everywhere. I’ve been a surgeon for over 30 years and there was a lot of blood,” said Dr. Richard Scriven, chief of pediatric trauma at Stony Brook Trauma Center. Today. “He really had no measurable blood pressure. …He had basically lost almost all of his blood.

Doctors finally asked the DeFraias if something might have punctured Charlie’s throat – and they thought straw.

“I was like, now this unfortunately makes total sense,” Dr Scriven said. Today.

He and Dr. David Chesler, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Stony Brook, stopped the boy’s bleeding, and although the latter “wasn’t worried that he was dead at that time”, he was worried about ” what kind of neurological insult he was going to suffer”. of that,” said Dr. Chesler Today.

Charlie’s abnormal injury was so complex that the team had to call in another doctor, director of the Stony Brook Cerebrovascular Center, Dr. David Fiorella, the outlet reported. Entering through the right femoral artery in the boy’s thigh, Dr Fiorella threaded a catheter up his neck and reconstructed a new artery using metal stents which essentially built a ‘scaffold’ to provide flow arterial, he said. Today.

He then used a stent, “what he did was recreate a whole new carotid artery inside Charlie’s old carotid artery,” Dr Fiorella said. “Doing so not only stopped the bleeding and sealed the bleeding, but also restored normal blood flow to the right side of Charlie’s brain.”

After spending a week in a medically induced coma, Charlie woke up with mobility issues which began to rapidly improve. he was released on July 7 and was due to start kindergarten last week.

“We are so grateful,” her mother said. Todayadding that the family’s cache of metal straws had been “in the trash since the day after the accident”.

The Independent has contacted the Stony Brook Trauma Center and the DeFraias family for comment.


The Independent Gt

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