Video: Doctor uses home drill to save boy

updated 5/20/2009 8:17:14 AM ET 2009-05-20T12:17:14

A doctor in rurall Australia used a household drill to bore a hole into the skull of a boy with a severe head injury, saving his life.

Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike on Friday in the small Victoria state city of Maryborough, hitting his head on the pavement, his family told The Australian newspaper in a story published Wednesday. By the time Rossi got to the hospital, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.

The doctor on duty, Rob Carson, quickly recognized the 13-year-old was experiencing potentially fatal bleeding on the brain and knew he had only minutes to drill a hole through the boy's skull to relieve the pressure.

But the small hospital was not equipped with neurological drills — so Carson grabbed a household drill from the maintenance room.

"Dr. Carson came over to us and said, 'I am going to have to drill into (Nicholas) to relieve the pressure on the brain — we've got one shot at this and one shot only,'" the boy's father, Michael Rossi, told The Australian.

Carson called a Melbourne neurosurgeon for help, and the specialist talked Carson through the procedure — which he had never before attempted — by telling him where to aim the drill and how deep to go. Soon, a blood clot fell out, relieving the pressure on the boy's brain.

Rossi was airlifted to a larger hospital in Melbourne and released Tuesday — his 13th birthday.

Carson was modest about his feat.

"It is not a personal achievement, it is just a part of the job and I had a very good team of people helping me," he told the newspaper.

Michael Rossi was more effusive.

"He saved our son's life," he said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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