Hidden danger in X-ray after cracking noise in woman's neck

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A woman was rushed to the emergency room gasping for air after eating fish.

The 54-year-old, from Malaysia, began to feel “excruciating pain” in her throat when she was eating wolf herring she had grilled, The Journal of Emergency Medicine explained.

She tried to force herself to vomit believing something was lodged in her throat, but it didn’t work and she struggled to breathe.

The woman was rushed to the emergency room and doctors palpated her neck. Palpating is when doctors check part of the body by touching it for medical examination.

A fish bone seen lodged in a woman's neck in a CT scan.
A fish bone was found lodged in a muscle in this woman's neck. Source: The Journal of Emergency Medicine

Doctors noticed a cracking sound in her neck but couldn’t find the bone. It was noted the woman had an “unusual case” of subcutaneous emphysema which means air trapped under the skin.

The fish bone didn’t show up on an X-ray either.

They did a CT scan and found a 5.1-centimetre bone embedded in her sternocleidomastoid muscle. The sternocleidomastoid muscle is one of the largest muscles in the neck.

Doctors had to perform surgery to remove it though but she fully recovered after five days in hospital.

Toddler strangled by her own hair

A distressed toddler had to be rushed to the emergency room after her own hair became lodged in her throat as she slept.

The three-year-old, from Newcastle in England, woke up with her parents finding a long hair sticking out of her mouth, according to her case in the British Medical Journal Case Reports.

Her mum, who spoke anonymously, told researchers the hair caused “severe distress” when touched.

“Unable to adequately examine her mouth, I assumed the hair was caught around a tooth,” she said.

“Fluids and a banana soothed her distress and allowed me to check her mouth where I could no longer see any sign of a hair.”

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