Live Shell Removed From Soldier's Head

Air Force docs don body armor to extract live ammo
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2010 2:29 AM CDT
Live Shell Removed From Soldier's Head
The surgeons called in an explosives team for advice after spotting the unexploded ordnance in the Afghan soldier's head wound.   (United States Air Force)

When a CT scan turned up a live round of ammo that could explode at any time embedded in a young Afghan soldier, Air Force surgeons knew exactly what to do: don flak jackets, evacuate nonessential personnel, and operate. The shell—part of the shrapnel that had been packed into a bomb—was successfully removed after a nerve-wracking operation, CNN reports.

The chief surgeon abandoned the use of metal instruments for fear of detonating the shell, which had penetrated the young soldier's skull but not his brain. "I grabbed it with my hands, sort of worked it out, and really pulled it out with my hand," he said. The surgeons say such situations are all part of the job. "Those guys risking being blown up every day, those guys are the ones taking the big risk," his colleague says. (More US military stories.)

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