Spinal injuries in two-up brawl

By SALLY GORDON

sgordon@dailyexaminer.com.au

A FIGHT over an Anzac Day two-up game at a Sydney pub had a tragic ending for a 41-year-old Copmanhurst man.

The man, who has not been identified, is currently being treated for spinal injuries at Sydney's Westmead Hospital.

Late yesterday Westmead public affairs were unable to give a patient update because the man was still in theatre, but it is believed his condition remained serious.

Ambulance officers were called to a hotel at St Mary's in Sydney's west after 5pm on Tuesday.

Medical officers took the man to Mount Druitt Hospital for initial treatment.

The victim was later transferred to Westmead Hospital after CareFlight's trauma team was called in at 6.20pm.

An NRMA CareFlight spokesperson said the man, who lives 20km north west of Grafton, fell to the ground and hit his head following a struggle outside the St Mary's hotel.

The fall left the man with an injury to his neck and without feeling below his waist.

The CareFlight spokesperson said the man was placed on one of the helicopter's mobile intensive care modules and flown to Westmead.

He arrived at the hospital on Tuesday night in a serious but stable condition at 7.45pm.

"With that level of suspected spinal injury the helicopter was the preferred method of transport with our CareFlight medical team," the spokesperson said.

"(We wanted) to give him a smooth transfer with minimal vibrations across to Westmead."

Despite the gravity of the injuries, the man remained conscious throughout the flight.

"(He was) trying to come to terms, somehow, with what happened to him ... and a long way from home as well," the spokesperson said.

Detectives from St Mary's police unit are investigating the incident.



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