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Woman survives croc attack in NT -

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LISA MILLAR: In Darwin a woman is recovering in hospital after surviving a savage crocodile attack
at Litchfield National Park.

The woman was swimming at a local waterhole when a 2.5m saltwater croc grabbed her.

The attack has shocked rangers because Litchfield Park is one of the few safe places to swim in the
Top End.

Dr Len Notaras is the Medical Superintendent at Royal Darwin Hospital.

He told reporters, including the ABC's Anne Barker, it was the woman's husband who saved her from
the croc's jaws.

LEN NOTARAS: Some very brave efforts of the lady's husband, I understand, he apparently wrestled
the crocodile away from her.

The lady is a 36-year-old, is a local and was aware that there are crocodiles in the area, but
obviously wasn't being reckless in any way, was swimming as you might do in a particular water with
particular caution. Has sustained injuries to both thighs, left and right, and to one of the
fingers on the right hand as well.

ANNE BARKER: How serious are those injuries?

LEN NOTARAS: Look, the injuries are fairly straightforward. I can't say they're not serious, having
been placed in a life-threatening circumstance, I'd have to say that they are serious injuries, but
they are not life-threatening injuries. They will respond very well to therapy over the next few
days, and as I suggest, initially cleaning the wounds, ensuring that there is no dead tissue etc,
no debris in them, and then antibiotic therapy for the next few days as well.

ANNE BARKER: What are some of the complications with crocodile attacks, where you're bitten by an
animal that obviously lives in very murky and contaminated water?

LEN NOTARAS: The most severe risk is that of infection, and the eating habits and the environment,
the natural environment of the crocodiles is such that there's a whole array of bacteria and bugs
that will indeed be on the teeth and in the mouth of the crocodile and transferred through the
puncture wounds to the victim.

Now, depending on how deep those wounds are that can actually... those bacterium and bugs can
actually get into the bloodstream of the victim and end up with septicaemia and some very nasty
sequel injuries.

So at this stage we'd be aggressively treating with the exploratory and cleaning surgery, and then
of course the antibiotics, which would be intravenous, and then when the lady is discharged home,
oral antibiotics.

ANNE BARKER: There are reports she had tried to open the crocodile's jaws to free herself. What are
the chances of that succeeding? Is that the way to deal with a crocodile attack?

LEN NOTARAS: Look, I think that is nigh near impossible. The sheer force of a crocodile biting down
is quite incredible. In fact the power is something that is quite incredible. I'm not an expert in
these areas, but I do know that in terms of per cubic inch or centimetre that it's quite huge.

I think an assault on the eyes is one of the areas, and obviously the husband's swift and diligent
actions have saved the day.

ANNE BARKER: Is that what he did, he poked the crocodile in the eyes?

LEN NOTARAS: I can't say that, I'm not aware. I know that he very bravely and selflessly responded
and full credit to an enormously heroic act.

LISA MILLAR: What a lucky woman! That's the Royal Darwin Hospital Medical Superintendent Len
Notaras with Anne Barker in Darwin.