Surgeon removes pen cap from boy’s lungs

The 12-year-old boy had been sucking on the pen cap when he inhaled it into his lungs.

February 19, 2017 18:36
Doctor and patient

Doctor and patient (illustrative).. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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Doctors at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva last week removed a pen cap from the lungs of 12-year-old boy from the center of the country who inhaled the cap he was sucking on.

The boy, who had difficulty breathing, was treated in the emergency room by Dr.

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Meir Mei-Zahav, a lung expert who, through an X ray, identified the little blue plastic cap as having entered the bronchi of the youth’s right lung. Dr. David Olnovsky, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Schneider, removed the cap endoscopically.

Inhalation of foreign bodies is well known in younger children but not older ones, so it’s important to raise the awareness of parents of the risks and not allow them to play with small objects that can get stuck in the trachea, said Mei-Zahav. Should it happen, the child should be taken quickly to a hospital emergency room.

For years, a law has required pen manufacturers to make their caps with holes in them so that, if inhaled, at least some air can reach the lungs.

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