Reporter performs brain surgery on quake victim

KATHMANDU - Doctors in quake-hit Nepal were so short-handed that they asked a foreign journalist to help them with brain surgery.

Fortunately, CNN's medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta is a qualified doctor who successfully completed the surgery using rudimentary equipment.

The neurosurgeon performed a craniotomy on eight-year-old Selena Dohal to remove blood that had collected in her brain.

The roof of the house fell on the girl's head when she went to get some water, her grandfather told doctors there.

He took her to Bir Hospital in Kathmandu while her parents took care of her brother, who was also injured in the earthquake. She is recovering well, Dr Gupta said.

In a video made after the operation, Dr Gupta said that the hospital was overwhelmed.

"They just need another pair of hands because the demand is so high," he said.

The conditions were less than ideal. Dr Gupta washed up using sterile water and iodine, and used a saw instead of electric drills in the makeshift operating theatre, CNN reported.

"I've seen a lot of situations around the world, and this is as bad as I've ever seen it," Dr Gupta said.

This is not the first time Dr Gupta has performed surgery while on the job as a journalist.

During the 2003 Iraq war, he was embedded with a navy unit called Devil Docs and, while covering its mission, performed brain surgery five times.