(photo credit: RAMBAM MEDICAL CENTER)
Rambam Medical Center doctors were shocked to find that a four-year-old boy had swallowed a long metal chain that made its way into his stomach. At the pediatric gastroenterology unit of the Haifa medical center’s Ruth Hospital, the boy was sedated, and the 10-centimeter-long piece of jewelry was “fished” and pulled out.
The boy’s sister noticed he was playing with a chain bracelet, which later disappeared; she realized that he had swallowed it and told her parents, who rushed him to the hospital. There, he underwent a series of tests that confirmed the suspicion that he had swallowed the unusual foreign object.
Since the toddler, who lives in the north, showed no symptoms and did not complain of pain – and to avoid an invasive procedure in such a small child – the doctors decided to keep him under observation. They thought that he might eliminate the chain naturally. But, two days later, they saw that it had remained in his stomach.
After it was removed through his esophagus and throat, he remained under observation and was discharged, feeling well, on Monday.
"At least theoretically, the chain could be stuck in the child’s stomach or in the child’s bowel and cause obstruction,” explained Prof. Ron Shaul, director of the pediatric gastroenterology unit at the Haifa children’s hospital. “We urge parents to keep a close eye on their children and avoid exposing them to small, dangerous objects and to keep them out of their reach.” If a child accidentally swallows a foreign object, he should be brought immediately to the closest hospital emergency room.