Construction Worker Hospitalized After Entrapment in Frisco

The construction worker injured in Thursday's accident remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Medical City Plano.

"When I saw him like that, I just wanted to cry," said his wife Sara Acosta.

Her husband, Francisco Palma, became entrapped in a trench digging machine Thursday near Beacon Crest Lane and Kaitlin Lane in Frisco on Thursday.

Palma suffered serious injuries, but was awake and conscious shortly after it happened, Frisco fire officials said.

Family of Francisco Palma
Francisco Palma recovering in the ICU. Click here to see a larger photo.

Unable to free the man themselves, Frisco firefighters called for a medical air ambulance and a surgeon from Medical City Plano to get the man out.

"He was sort of suspended by his leg in the gears of the trencher, sort of torso twisted around and suspended partially upside down,” said Dr. Al West, the trauma surgeon sent to the scene.

"Once the helicopter arrived with the surgeon and the blood products, the air medical crew started administering the blood, the surgeon made an assessment. Working together with our rescue team they started to dissemble parts of the trencher," said Frisco Fire Department Deputy Chief Scott Vetterick.

A construction worker has been hospitalized after an incident where he became entrapped in a trench digging machine Thursday near Beacon Crest Lane and Kaitlin Lane in Frisco, authorities said.

"Then the surgeon made entry into the area, and started working on the patient to help free him, so they worked all together," Vetterick said.

The man's right leg was amputated just above the right knee.

"We had no choice," said Dr. Mark Gamber, medical director for the Frisco Fire Department. "This was clearly a case of where the only way to get the patient to care was going to be to separate him from his extremity."

“There wasn’t any saving that limb even in the best of circumstances,” said West.

"The good news is that on the left leg, even though there was a lot of massive soft tissue injury, the artery, the nerve, the vein are still intact,” said West.

The father of two young boys, Palma will likely stay in the hospital for more than a month.

Doctors are working to save his left leg by frequently cleaning the dirty wound to ward off infection.

The rescue was the first to utilize Frisco's new Prehospital Amputation Team, which brings together helicopters, surgeons, paramedics and firefighters for just such emergencies. 

"To have all of this come together is what I think truly saved this guy's life and get him to the hospital," Gamber said.

The incident happened when workers were laying pipe at a housing development that is under construction, officials said.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe account to help Palma's family, since he was he sole breadwinner.

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