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Anthony Turner, front left, was called to help a patient in the Pediatric Emergency Department recently. His fellow Plant Engineering mechanics (l-r): Anthony Adante, Will McBriarty and Bill Viger, also responded to the call.

Emergency Department physicians and staff have experience treating all kinds of injuries, but sometimes they need to call a specialist.  

It happened recently, when a young child came to the Pediatric ED with a stainless steel shower drain cover stuck on a finger. The finger had swelled and was in danger of losing blood supply, which could lead to permanent damage.

The thickness of the drain cover would have made it difficult for clinicians to use their special ring cutter, so they called the Service Response Center for assistance.

"We needed an expert opinion on how to remove it," said Deborah Gallagher, RN, Pediatric ED. "The metal was thick and the poor patient's finger was becoming more swollen as time went on."

Enter Anthony Turner, whom the Service Response Center had called on the radio, and Anthony Adante, Bill Viger and Will McBriarty, who overheard the call and came to see if they could help. Clad in gray shirts vs. white coats, the Anthonys and Williams might have looked a little out of place in the exam room, but the Plant Engineering mechanics came prepared.

"They arrived swiftly and eagerly and immediately went into action," Gallagher said. "They managed to find just the right tool for the job."

Turner used metal shears – and the utmost care – to snip a portion of the drain cover away from the young patient's finger. Within 20 minutes, the drain cover was safely removed, without injury to the patient.

ED staff and the patient's family were "so thankful" for the help, Gallagher said. The feeling was mutual, according to the mechanics.

"It was good to be able to help the ED staff and the patient," Turner said. "We were very happy to be able to lend a hand."