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Man survives nail gun shot to the head

A doctor on the case calls him the "luckiest man." He was shot with a nail gun in the head, and not only did he survive the injury, he suffered no brain damage. His doctors reported his case in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, according to this ABC News article.

The 58-year-old man was working on a home construction site. A co-worker was working above him, shooting nails with a gun into a board. The man looked up just as the board broke and a nail from the gun traveled through his sinus cavity, just missing the left eye, and then stopped at the base of his skull. It never touched his brain.

"If the nail had gone a little higher, it would have taken out his pituitary gland," says Dr. Anne Hayman, a professor of neuroradiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "If it had gone a little more laterally to the side, it would have taken out his carotid artery and he would have bled to death on the spot."

This man isn't the first to survive such an injury, but others aren't always so lucky. This article from the National Institutes of Health details some of the problems for people who suffer a traumatic brain injury.

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