Two babies aged only five and eight months old, respectively, had to undergo
treatment at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after they swallowed foreign objects
– a piece of walnut and a fruit pit.
Such incidents of ingesting foreign
objects are very rare in children so young.
At the beginning of last
week, the five-month-old from the North was referred from another hospital to
Rambam with a piece of a pit in the left bronchial tube leading to the lungs. He
underwent a brochoscopy, but to get the seed out, minuscule devices were needed
to remove it from such a small baby. As such equipment was lacking in the first
hospital, he was sent to Rambam.
The baby was initially found by the
first hospital to suffer from fever and an incessant cough, as if he had an
upper-respiratory- tract infection; no one thought it was a foreign
“I have never encountered such a young patient with this
problem,” said Dr. Arye Gordin, head of otolaryngology at Rambam.
general anesthesia, the doctors gently pushed a broncoscope only four
millimeters in diameter and inserted a tiny pair of tweezers to pull the seed
In 20 minutes, it was removed.
“The smaller the child, the
tinier the equipment must be, so it is very difficult,” said Gordin.
few days later, Rambam staffers admitted an eight-month-old boy who swallowed a
nut with a piece of cake he was served. This time, it entered his right
bronchial tube. Using the same technique and equipment, Goldin and colleagues
“Both children are in good condition and have been
discharged. It is quite rare for the ingestion of a foreign object reaching the
lungs in a child under 18 months. Infants should not be exposed to hard food.
Parents must be careful not to give them such inappropriate things to eat,”