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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep

Med J Malaysia



A rare penetrating injury through the axilla caused by stilt pole in a Bajau Laut boy.


Atan AA, Chong JS, Oon ZS, Abu Bakar I
Med J Malaysia. 2020 Sep; 75(5):597-599.
PMID: 32918436.


An 8-year-old child of Bajau Laut descent (a stateless tribe in Eastern Borneo and the Sulu archipelago) presented following a fall, with penetrating injury through the axilla caused by a stilt pole, exiting at the supero-anterior aspect of the left shoulder. Due to the lack of comprehension of modern medical treatment and poor language skills, the parents refused to consent for detailed radioimaging studies, nor surgical removal and exploration in the operating theatre. The removal of retained stilt pole was done in casualty area in Hospital Tawau, followed by local exploration under sedation and local analgesia. Despite the horrific injury, there was no limb-threatening neurovascular injury sustained. Management of such injury in the nomadic Bajau Laut population provides valuable insight and about the challenges and decisions of management.