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Two Idaho Surgeons Perform Amputation Inside Truck Cab, Saving Driver's Life

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SKEEZE PIXABAY CREATIVE COMMONS 1.0
Even though Drs. Edward DeTar and Marcus Torgenson said they've performed more than 1,200 previous leg amputations, performing the procedure inside the cab of a semi-truck on Interstate 90 proved to be their greatest challenge to-date. Now the northern Idaho surgeons are sharing details on one of their most unique medical emergencies.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that in the midst of a major snow/ice blitz that swept across Washington and the Idaho panhandle on Jan. 19, one pile-up on I-90 involved Aleksey Tikhonov, 54, a trucker from Soap Lake, Wash., who was trapped when the crash sent logs and debris onto his right leg. When emergency responders arrived on the scene, they made a quick call to Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene.

DeTar and Togenson said they, along with a nurse and anesthesiologist, rushed to the scene and quickly concluded an amputation was the only solution to keep Tikhonov alive. The surgeons said a similar surgery in a hospital ER might have taken up to an hour, but in the cramped bed of the semi, the amputation took about 10 minutes.

Tikhonov was quickly prepped and transported to Kootenai Health, where he is listed in fair condition.

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