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Durban - A 23-year old man may lose his leg after it was caught in a mielie harvesting machine on Tuesday.
The accident happened while he was working on a farm in the St Bernard’s Peak area, near the Lesotho border.
According to ER24 paramedic, Vanessa Jackson, a rescue team from Kokstad found the man in extreme pain, with his leg trapped in the chains and spikes of a mielie harvester.
The leg was mangled into the machine right up to the knee.
“The paramedics ascertained that the man’s leg was already broken and mangled to a great extent,” Jackson said.
It was at that point that ER24 paramedics were called in. Paramedics stabilised the man before the Air Wing was alerted.
A decision was then taken on the best method to release the man’s leg from the machine.
“The only option at that time was to reverse the mechanism and manually remove the leg the same way it had gone into the machine,” Jackson said.
With the man’s pain under control, paramedics managed to remove him from the machine and they immediately stabilised the broken leg.
The man was airlifted to Mediclinic Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
He was treated in the trauma unit and taken into theatre late on Tuesday night.
According to doctors, a decision on whether to amputate the leg would be made on Wednesday.