Los Angeles Times

Man impaled while climbing fence

A 51-year-old homeless man was impaled in the leg Monday night as he tried to climb over an iron fence at Casa Adobe Park, police said.

The man, Alfred Khodabakhshi, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with a piece of the fence still in his left leg, according to police reports.

Khodabakhshi and a friend, who frequents the park at 1330 Dorothy Drive, reportedly entered the property for a drink from a water fountain, but when the pair tried to leave, they noticed the gates were locked.

They tried climbing over the fence, but Khodabakhshi slipped, and the spike on the top of the fence entered his left calf and exited at the base of his knee, said Glendale Fire Battalion Chief Vincent Rifino.

Khodabakhshi’s friend was trying to free him from the fence when police arrived at about 7:55 p.m.

Firefighters used a ladder to help stabilize Khodabakhshi as they cut him loose from the fence, leaving the protruding rod in place, Rifino said.

Any impalement object should remain inside patients or accompany patients when they are rushed to a hospital for treatment, said Philip Merritt, a surgeon and director of Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s Orthopedic Center.

“That’s exactly what you need to do,” he said.

Removing the object could lead to death or other medical complications, he added.

Most impalements heal well if other complications, including vascular, bone or nerve damage, haven’t occurred, he said. The extent of Khodabakhshi’s internal injuries were not available.


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