Doctors have removed a rusty drawing pin from a boy’s windpipe after he inhaled it into his trachea one month earlier and did not tell his parents.
The 11-year-old, named as Liu Yang. is a primary school pupil from south-western China’s Guizhou Province.
His family members said they had been trying to treat his chronic cough for over a month and sought out local medics after he failed to respond to medication.
A scan done on December 16 left doctors shocked when it revealed the 2.3-centimetre metal pin lodged deep in his trachea.
He was transferred to the larger Guiyang Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital in the provincial capital where an emergency bronchoscopy was scheduled for December 18.
“The pin was very sharp and had already been in his body for over a month,” Doctor Jin Rong, head of respiratory medicine, said.
“The tissue around the pin had become inflamed and started to granulate.
“Had we accidentally nicked his trachea, it would’ve caused a lot of bleeding and serious secondary injuries to the child.”
The three-hour procedure involving medics from multiple disciplines saw surgeons repeatedly attempting to retrieve the drawing pin using different forceps.
“The surgery was very difficult,” Doctor Jin explained.
“At first we used a flexible bronchoscope, but we couldn’t move the pin at all because tissue had already grown around it.
“We tried a rigid bronchoscope, but it wasn’t nearly long enough and couldn’t reach the pin’s location.
“In the end, we used a combination of the two and extracted the pin after three hours.”
The boy, who responded "I don't know" when asked when or how he swallowed the drawing pin, is recovering well after his surgery but remains under observation, the hospital said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.