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Microspec employee gets well with help of company’s product

  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Paul Chergey, left, and Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Paul Chergey, left, and Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Paul Chergey, left, and Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Paul Chergey, left, and Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Paul Chergey, left, and  Jim Castelot of Microspec Cop. look over a PICC line made with Microspec tubing that was used after Chergey underwent emergency surgery for a dangerous staph infection in his knee.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

Paul Chergey got quite a surprise after he came out of an Eliot Hospital operating room in Manchester following emergency surgery last month. The Nashua man, who works as a lead extruder technician at Microspec Corp. in Peterborough, had gone to the hospital after he irritated his knee playing basketball.

“I’d had surgery on my knee about three years ago,” Chergey said on Friday. “I knew something was wrong. It was red and sore, and I was limping around.”

Chergey, 24, was diagnosed with a staph infection and was immediately admitted to the hospital. Less than two hours later, he was in the operating room for an arthroscopic procedure to flush the infection from the knee.

“By the time I went into the operating room, I pretty much couldn’t walk,” Chergey said. “I’m told I could have lost my leg, or even my life.”

Chergey, who remained conscious throughout the surgery, said one of the final steps the doctors took was to insert a PICC line in order to deliver antibiotics into his system. PICC stands for peripherally inserted central catheter. It is a long, slender, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein, typically in the upper arm, and pushed through the vein until the catheter tip reaches a large vein in the chest near the heart, which is where the drugs need to be delivered. One of the leading manufacturers of PICC lines is Bard Access Systems of Salt Lake City, Utah. And one of the leading suppliers of the tiny medical tubing that is a key component of Bard’s PICC lines is Chergey’s employer, Microspec.

“As I was in the hospital, someone told me they were using a Bard access line,” Chergey said. “When I saw the tubing, I said, ‘I guarantee you we made that.’ It was quite a unique situation.”

Not only did Microspec make the tubing that helped Chergey pull through the surgery, but once he looked at the device, Microspec founder and CEO Tim Steele was even able to identify the man who made it, extruder technician Jim Castelot, 54, of Peterborough.

“He’s one of our best technicians,” Steele said of Castelot. “It’s really amazing that he made something that helped save one of our key employees.”

After Chergey was released from the hospital, the PICC line remained in this body for about three weeks, and he used it himself to administer antibiotics. He said he’s now fully recovered and had been back at work for about a week. On Friday, Chergey and Castelot took a break on the manufacturing floor at Microspec to look at the actual tube that had been used after the operation. “They just took the PICC out of my arm yesterday,” Chergey said, holding the tube that his colleague had manufactured.

“It was pretty cool when he told me about this,” Castelot said. “It’s a little unnerving to hear how they are actually used.”

“You don’t feel a thing,” Chergey said. “It just slid right out.”

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