Abu Dhabi: A scarf pin that was accidentally swallowed by a 24-year-old Indian resident has been successfully removed by doctors at the Universal Hospital in Abu Dhabi.
The 20-minute procedure was carried out without any complications and the patient was discharged after six hours of observation, Dr George Sarin, gastroenterology specialist at the hospital, told Gulf News.
“We regularly come across children aged up to five years who have ingested foreign bodies like coins. This case was rather unusual because the scarf pin was rather long at 3.5 to 4cm, and it had passed through the patient’s oesophagus before getting stuck in her stomach,” said Dr Sarin.
This case was unusual because the scarf pin was 3.5 to 4cm long. It had passed through the patient’s oesophagus before getting stuck in her stomach.
The patient initially came to the hospital complaining of mild abdominal pain.
“I found out that she had been holding the pin between her teeth, and had mistakenly swallowed it as she was trying to speak. Since there was no immediate discomfort, the patient assumed the pin would pass out naturally. It was only when she developed the abdominal pain that she visited the hospital 22 hours later,” he added.
In many cases where foreign bodies are ingested, the item gets lodged in the throat. But as revealed by X-ray, this particular scarf pin had passed longitudinally through all the way to the stomach. Dr Sarin said the pin had then perforated the lower part of the stomach, and a bead at the other end had prevented it from passing out into the abdominal cavity.
“If the pin had remained stuck, the perforation would eventually have gotten bigger, and caused ulceration and a possible abdominal infection or peritonitis,” said Dr Sarin.
250cases reported in the last two years in which Abu Dhabi residents have swallowed foreign objects
The patient was put under anaesthesia, and an endoscope was inserted until the site of the pin. A pair of forceps were then used to remove it.
“She is now on antibiotics to ensure that she doesn’t develop an infection. Since it is a small opening, the perforation in the stomach wall will likely heal on its own,” the doctor added.
As Gulf News reported earlier this month, there have been more than 250 cases reported in the last two years in which Abu Dhabi residents have swallowed foreign objects. Eight of these pertained to young girls who had swallowed scarf pins.
“With young children, we usually see them swallowing small objects like coins, and I’ve even seen one case where the child had swallowed a whole toy,” added Dr Sarin.
■ Button batteries that can leak and cause poisoning and infections
■ Magnets that stick together if more than one is ingested and cause intestinal perforation
■ Scarf pins, needles and keys
- Source: Shaikh Khalifa Medical City