HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Safety pin turns unsafe, gets lodged in boy’s throat

Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 11, 2013
First Published: 01:03 IST(11/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:05 IST(11/4/2013)

Doctors at a city hospital last week removed an open safety pin lodged in the food pipe of an 18-month-old boy.


After he refused to drink milk for a few days, Suraj Koli’s worried parents had rushed him to a Dombivli hospital. “He would not eat or drink and was constantly crying. He is, otherwise, a healthy child and we had no idea what went wrong,” said his uncle Ashok Balwantrao.

An X-ray at the Dombivali hospital revealed that Suraj had ingested a safety pin which was causing him discomfort. “We were shocked. Initially we refused to believe that the child could eat a safety pin. But when doctors showed us the X-ray, we were scared for his life,” said Balwantrao.

To make matters worse, the pointed-end of the safety pin had been dislodged from its cap and doctors feared this could cause bleeding that would have been difficult to control. Doctors at the Dombivali hospital tried to remove the pin but after finding out that it was embedded deep inside the food pipe, they referred Suraj to Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central.

Doctors from Nair Hospital’s ear nose and throat (ENT) department repeated the X ray investigation, which showed that the pin was lodged in a vertical position inside his food pipe. After taking consent of relatives, doctors immediately performed a procedure called ‘oesophagousscopy’ in which a metal pipe is inserted into the food pipe through the mouth. A pair of forceps was inserted into the food pipe through the pipe and the pin was pulled out. But there were complications during the procedure.   

“While performing the procedure, we had to be careful that the sharp end of the pin did not rupture major blood vessels nearby,” said Dr Ninad Gaikwad, from Nair Hospital’s ENT department.

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