Teen's injuries show dangers of wired glass

You have probably seen it at many schools - a type of glass used in windows that has wire embedded inside. A Longview teenager has learned just how damaging that type of glass can be, after he ended up in the hospital with serious cuts to his arms.

The accident happened in a gym where Brent Walker has played countless basketball games.

Walker says he was playing tag when he got pushed up against a door with wire mesh glass and instinctively put his hands up before crashing into it.

However, when he tried to pull his arms out of the glass, he says he ended up getting hurt not only by the glass, but the wire inside.

"When they (my arms) went in, the glass cut me. Then, when I brought them back out, the wire mesh cut me, so I ended up getting cut twice," he told KATU News. "Then, I just remember that I pulled my arms out and my left arm was just pouring out blood like I've never seen."

Brent says he went into shock, but did what the teacher told him to do, which was to run to the nurse's office.

However, the office was in a separate building and by the time he got there, he had lost a lot of blood.

"I felt like I was going to faint and pass out, but I was just trying to hang in there," he said.

At the hospital, doctors operated on Brent for several hours. He had cut a main artery to his left hand and severed all the tendons in his fingers.

Brent's mother, Rita, says she had no idea the wire in those glass windows could do that kind of damage.

"It's traumatic and too bad that it ever had to happen. I definitely would never want it to happen again," she told KATU News.

In Oregon, other injuries caused by wired glass have led lawmakers to push for change. In October, the state will become the first in the country to ban wired glass from all public buildings.

However, Washington lawmakers have not yet addressed the problem.

Brent is hoping that will change and he is also hoping that he will still be able to play basketball in the fall, especially since it will be his senior year and he has made the varsity team.

"I just try not to think about it and hope for the best," he said.

Brent's mother is hoping to find out from school administrators on Tuesday why Brent was sent to the nurse's office instead of being treated right there in the gym.

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