Jerusalem doctors save 5-year-old who choked on piece of his Purim costume

Doctors managed to remove little metal bell that disconnected from child's Purim costume and entered his gastrointestinal system.

March 8, 2015 16:32
1 minute read.

Little metal bell swallowed by five-year-old boy in Jerusalem. (photo credit: SHAARE ZEDEK MEDICAL CENTER)

A five-year-old Jerusalem boy was saved last week at Shaare Zedek Medical Center when doctors managed to remove a little metal bell that disconnected itself from his Purim costume and entered his gastrointestinal system.

The boy, from the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, was playing with the costume, which had a number of bells sewed on to it. One became detached from the cloth, and he swallowed it.

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The parents, who witnessed this, took him immediately to the Terem urgent care clinic in Arnona. An x-ray showed the bell was stuck in his esophagus.

He was referred to SZMC, where Prof. Dan Turner, head of the pediatric gastrointestinal department, said it was a very rare case, as the metal piece got stuck in the mucous membrane of the food tube. It became swollen and couldn’t move toward the stomach.

Emergency room doctors attached a clip to try to prevent perforation of the membrane, and a surgical team arrived. They managed over several hours to remove the bell, and surgery was not required, nor was significant damage caused.

Children swallowing foreign objects is not rare, said Turner.

“One must prevent small children from getting near them, especially on events like Purim, when they are exposed to unusual objects connected to the festival,” he concluded.

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