The impromptu and unforseeable problems, which the physician faced who was called upon to help a boy who had fallen into a deep well, are illustrated. Inability to recover the boy rapidly required oxygen and fluids to be provided in the well for over 2 days. The reasons why heroic efforts failed to save him will be presented in this rescue case report.
In reoccurring types of disasters, such as earthquakes and fires, the type of aid required can be predicted from previous experiences and results. Sometimes in cases involving one individual, who due to special circumstances is in danger of losing his life, rescue organizations have difficulty in organizing and providing the special aid required, which touches public sympathy, creating a state of general anxiety and interest. An unusual and dramatic case, the accidental fall of a boy into a deep well, had these characteristics. The intensive care unit (ICU) of our hospital had to deal with this extraordinary event. National and worldwide news media gave extensive coverage and direct transmission, with emotional details, ending with the drama of human life and the attempted rescue.
In the afternoon of 3une 10, 1981, in Vermicino, on the rural outskirts of Rome, a 6 year old boy did not return home. After carrying out an anxious and fruitless search, the parents informed the local authorities. The police continued the search, until they finally heard from the tunnel opening of an unmarked well the tearful wail of the boy.