Dubai: A six-year-old Indian child had to be rushed to hospital on Monday night when his penis got stuck in the zipper of his pants.
Dr Nasir Nawasreh, Family Medicine Specialist at Dubai's City Hospital, told XPRESS the foreskin of the boy's penis got caught in the metallic zipper when he was putting on his pants at home.
"The boy was in deep pain and crying when he was brought here at around 11.30pm," he said.
By the time the boy came in, the family had cut off the pants, leaving just the zipper on the organ, said Dr Nawasreh.
"We put the child under general sedation and removed the foreign body through a fine procedure, which requires a special technique," he said.
Specialist plastic surgeon Dr Yasser Khattab said, "The zip was dismantled without any damage to the organ. There was no need for any stitches and the dressing was secured." Dr Nawasreh said the process went off smoothly with no complications and the boy was discharged after three hours.
The child's father said his son had mild pain on Tuesday but is fine now.
Penile zipper injuries cause severe pain and can result in bleeding and infections like necrosis if left untreated. In rare cases, the organ also gets disfigured, said Dr Nawasreh.
Such incidents, while not uncommon, are a reminder to parents and children to be more careful. "As a matter of discipline, children should be taught to wear underwear," said the boy's father.
"Underwear is a must. If the children's clothes have zippers, we must ensure they are of good quality," said Dr Nawasreh.
He said circumcision also helps. But while it can check the zipper getting caught in the loose foreskin, the risk of the shaft being damaged remains. The key therefore is to stay protected and alert.
One in 4,000
Penile zipper injuries are usually caused by entrapment of penile tissue - foreskin, shaft or glands - in the actuator or the teeth of the zipper. It is most common in pre-pubertal boys. It usually results in localised oedema and deep pain, with significant injury like skin loss or necrosis being unusual. One estimate says one in 4,000 penile zipper injuries ends up in the emergency department of a hospital.