Soldier’s severed hand stitched back in airlift mission

| | New Delhi
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Soldier’s severed hand stitched back in airlift mission

Saturday, 13 April 2024 | Rahul Datta | New Delhi

Soldier’s severed hand stitched back in airlift mission

Swift action by IAF in coordination with the Army managed to save the severed hand of a soldier as he was airlifted from Ladakh to New Delhi for the critical surgery.  The injured soldier was brought to the Capital after a “dark night airlift” by a C-130J aircraft as the crew used night vision goggles. The entire rescue operation was undertaken within a span of four hours thereby saving the soldier.

Giving details here on Friday, officials said the soldier’s hand was severed while operating a machine at a unit located in a forward area on Wednesday.  He was first evacuated to Lej air base and from there the C-130J plane brought him to Palam air force base in Delhi.

The jawan underwent an emergency surgery at the Army’s Research Referral (R&R) Hospital here, and his severed hand was stitched back, they said.

From the time he was brought to the Leh air base to the time he was brought to Delhi, “the span was about four hours,” and this “superior coordination” between the Army and the IAF ensured the injured jawan’s critical surgery could be performed in time to stitch back his severed hand.

On Friday morning, the Indian Air Force posted on X about the emergency airlift and also shared a photo of the patient recuperating at the hospital.

“An Indian Army personnel severed his hand while operating a machine, at a unit located in the forward area. Given a window of 6 to 8 hours for emergency surgery to save his appendage, an IAF C-130J aircraft was launched within an hour to move the jawan for surgery at the R & R hospital in Delhi,” it posted. The IAF official said it was a “dark night airlift” and NVGs (night vision goggles) were used.

“The injured personnel received medical attention promptly due to the dark night airlift on NVGs from Ladakh sector by #IAF. A dedicated team of medical personnel carried out a successful surgery and the jawan is now on his path to recovery,” the IAF wrote in its post.

In April 2023, the IAF, as part of an operation to rescue a batch of people from strife-torn Sudan, had carried out landing and takeoff of a C-130J aircraft from a degraded airstrip there, with its air crew using night vision goggles on a practically dark night.  

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