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Lifetime spent lending a hand

CHARLOTTE YING, pictured, pieces together the crushed bones and torn flesh of 400 hands a year, mostly injured in worksite accidents.

''A lot of other surgeons deal with life and death situations and save lives, I find hand surgery to be life giving,'' said the plastic surgery registrar at Canberra Hospital.

''Without even a finger a person may not be able to work.''

Her patients, often gruesomely maimed, indicate trends in Canberra society: unsafe workplaces, a disturbingly frequent inability to slice fruit without cutting ourselves and an increasing tendency to punch things.

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