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

15:30 EDT 18 Aug 2017 | Cardiovascular Business

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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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