SHATTERED LIVES: Prof Peter Brennan

It was the most unexpected and terrifying experience of my life

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SHATTERED LIVES: Prof Peter Brennan

A prominent Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon working at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth is lucky to be alive after falling from a ladder at home.  

Prof Peter Brennan
Photo credit: Prof Peter Brennan (Twitter)

Prof Brennan was cleaning the gutters of his house when he fell 18ft off a ladder. Addressing his 17,000 followers on Twitter after the accident he said: “Been quiet following an unfortunate ladder encounter”.

It turned out to be something of an understatement!

Prof Brennan takes up the story: “I was cleaning the gutters of the house when I fell. It’s a job I’ve done twice a year for countless number of years without any problems at all.”

“It was the most unexpected and terrifying experience of my life. I didn’t think it could happen to me, especially as I am so careful and always check and double check everything. The ladder had large rubber feet, but somehow they lost grip, it slid backwards and I slipped 18 feet down the wall.”

“I sustained multiple injuries and fractures, including a swollen, bruised and cut face, fractured tooth, three broken ribs, knee cap, tibial plateau and toe. I just feel lucky to be alive.”

“I can’t praise my NHS colleagues at the Queen Alexandra Hospital enough for their amazing ongoing care to date. I never thought I would end up in hospital after using such a simple thing as a ladder.”

Says Prof Brennan: “If it can happen to me it can happen to anyone. There’s a lot more to using a ladder safely than everyone thinks.  Don’t be complacent and never underestimate the risks involved.”

Prof Peter Brennan
Photo credit: Prof Peter Brennan (Twitter)

Prof Peter Brennan is an Elected Council Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Chair of Council at the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is lead editor of the latest Gray’s Surgical Anatomy textbook, and has collaborated with the National Air Traffic Services, British Airway’s captains and the Red Arrows in various national human factors initiatives to improve patient safety.

For advice and guidance on the safe use of ladders and stepladders visit the Ladder Association.

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