Construction worker who shoots nail into his heart: ‘Oops’

15:30 EDT 18 Aug 2017 | Cardiovascular Business


Working in the construction industry has inherent risks, but Doug Bergeson never imagined this was how he’d end up in the hospital.

The Peshtigo, Wisconsin, resident was working on a fireplace when he dropped his nail gun. It then fired a 3.5-inch framing nail directly into his torso—which missed his aorta by a millimeter.

"It didn't really hurt. It just felt like it kind of stung me. And I looked down and I didn't see anything and I put my hand there and—that's not good," Bergeson says. "When I saw it moving with my heart, it's kind of like: I'm not going to get anything done today! I can see that already!"

After driving himself to the hospital, he underwent surgery to remove the nail.

"A wrong heartbeat, a wrong position and he would have had a much more complicated problem than he was bargaining for," said Alexander Roitstein, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "And so he's quite fortunate from that standpoint."

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