OKC Doctors Save Soldiers' Hands after Grenade, Runaway Generator Accidents

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Army Soldiers Thank Dr. Houshang Seradge and Dr. Joel Frazier of Orthopedic Institute

Dr. Joel Frazier, Corp Sullivan Dr. Houshang Seradge and Sgt. Mayfield

The exceptionally skilled surgical team that attended these soldiers' injuries immediately put the soldiers at ease and gave them the opportunity to resume their duties and continue their military careers

U.S. Army officials are expressing gratitude to Dr. Houshang Seradge and Dr. Joel Frazier at the Orthopedic Institute of Oklahoma for saving the hands of two soldiers wounded in training exercises this spring. The two Fort Sill soldiers were injured in separate incidents on April 28. Both soldiers were transported to the Orthopedic Institute where doctors performed emergency hand surgeries.

Corporal Michael Sullivan, 26, from Franklin, North Carolina, thought the fingers of his right hand would need to be amputated after it was sucked into a runaway generator around 6:30am. Sullivan was still in the emergency room at Ft. Sill the afternoon of the accident when Sergeant Michael Mayfield, 42 of Brooklyn, NY, was admitted after a practice grenade exploded in his hand.

"Both soldiers had extensive injuries to their hands," said Dr. Houshang Seradge. "Our main concern was to properly treat the wounds to prevent infection. Once that is accomplished you can begin the reconstruction process."

Sergeant Mayfield's injuries required immediate treatment by a hand specialist so the two officers were transported in an ambulance to Orthopedic Institute in south Oklahoma City. OI has long been a friend to the state's military operations. Along with Dr. Houshang Seradge, the institute was a 2008 Secretary of State Freedom Award Nominee. The Freedom Award celebrates employers who exceed requirements in supporting reserve troops in their service to our country. Doctor Seradge met the soldiers and provided initial emergency care and evaluation. Then, Dr. Joel Frazier provided surgical care to Sergeant Mayfield while Dr. Seradge worked to repair Corporal Sullivan's hand.

"When it first happened, it looked as though I was going to lose three of my fingers or lose the use them. But the skill and care I received from Dr. Seradge and Dr. Frazier is what saved my hand. I can't thank them enough," said Corporal Sullivan whose hand was caught in a generator.

Dr. Seradge worked on the extensive injuries to Corporal Sullivan's index, long and ring fingers including open wounds and a condition called mallet fingers, which is the result of overextension of the tendon in the last joint of a finger and prevents straightening of the finger. His treatment required wound care and reconstruction of extensor tendons and nail beds. "He literally shaved off the top of three fingers down to the bone and joint," said Dr. Seradge

Sergeant Mayfield arrived with acute open wounds and injuries that required amputation of the tip of the middle finger of the right hand. Massive swelling was released and several severe lacerations with exposed nerves and arteries were also treated and repaired. Dr. Joel Frazier tells us "The blast literally split open his hand between all the fingers and thumb web spaces."

"The exceptionally skilled surgical team that attended these soldiers' injuries immediately put the soldiers at ease and gave them the opportunity to resume their duties and continue their military careers," said Larry E. Martin, Jr. Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Commanding.

Both soldiers have returned to duty. They continue their rehabilitation at The Therapy Center. TTC is an outpatient rehabilitation center at the Orthopedic Institute. The soldiers will continue trips to Oklahoma City to continue care for several more months.

Media Contact:
Stacy Ingram-Gilchrist 405.609.6019

About Orthopedic Institute
Orthopedic Institute of Oklahoma, established by Houshang Seradge, M.D. in 1980, is a comprehensive orthopedic care clinic, hospital and surgery center offering the most sophisticated and newest technologies as well as the state's leading physicians all focused on patient-centered treatment. The institute provides comprehensive orthopedic care, rheumatology and pain management services. The physicians, therapists and staff at Orthopedic Institute are dedicated to improving the quality of life and health of our patients by advancing our medical expertise on how to prevent, diagnose and treat orthopedic diseases and conditions. Visit us at http://www.ortho-ok.com/.


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Kym Koch Thompson

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