An arborist is in a stable condition in Westmead hospital in Sydney after his leg was severed by a length of rope which got caught in a woodchipper in Sydney’s north-west.
Police and emergency paramedics were called to the scene at a Wilberforce property in the Hawkesbury area about 11am on Monday after the 51-year-old man’s leg was amputated while he was cutting down a tree.
According to Careflight’s response team, the force in which the rope was pulled into the machine sent the man’s detached leg “flying through the air”.
“The moment the leg went flying through the air, the quick actions of others meant they were able to grab and preserve it,” a CareFlight spokeswoman said.
NSW Police officers tied a tourniquet around the man’s bleeding leg, which “significantly increased his chances of survival”, the spokeswoman said.
The ABC reported the loose rope had coiled near his leg and became tangled in the woodchipper some metres away, pulling the tension tightly enough to sever his leg.
He suffered significant blood loss but first responders said the quick first aid of his colleagues helped him in the immediate aftermath.
NSW Ambulance’s paramedics and a Careflight doctor treated the man before transporting him to Westmead Hospital, 35 kilometres away.
On the ambulance ride to the hospital, medical experts performed a blood and plasma transfusion on the man, the ABC reported.
They also stopped to buy ice from a petrol station to preserve the man’s severed leg during the 40-minute drive.
“Without the quick actions of the bystanders, including the police, ambulance response, and CareFlight rapid response helicopter response, the man’s condition could be much worse,” the spokeswoman said.
The man is in a stable condition in hospital.