Man is hospitalized after inhaling 3 cm. pin

Man ends up in Galilee Medical Faculty's emergency room after swallowing a pin while working on papers in his office.

February 1, 2012 03:38
1 minute read.
X ray w/ pin

X ray w/ pin_150. (photo credit: Galilee Medical Faculty)


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A 26-year-old man who swallowed a pin while working on papers in the office Tuesday learned a lesson the hard way – never hold a small foreign object in your mouth.

He ended up in Galilee Medical Faculty’s emergency room with a sharp three-centimeter-long pin stuck in his right bronchial tube near the lung.

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Doctors at the Safed hospital admitted the man, who did not complain of pain. They saw no evidence of the pin until performing an X ray.

After not eating for several hours, the man was sent to the operating room and put under general anesthesia. The surgeons used a bronchoscope to view the trachea and tubes leading to his lungs that can also be used to pull out foreign objects.

The procedure took 40 minutes and the doctors were successful in removing the pin without damaging tissue. He was sent to the ward for observation and if tests are normal, he will be discharged on Wednesday.

Dr. Leonid Leibschitz of the otolaryngology department, who treated the patient, said that inhaling or swallowing foreign objects – especially sharp ones – is very dangerous because they can puncture tissues in the lungs, blood vessels leading to the heart and digestive system. This type of accident could even be fatal, he added.

The man was fortunate that the pin remained in place and did not penetrate the lungs.

Leibschitz said that it is common for children to inhale or swallow foreign objects – such as food or toy parts – but rare in adults. He called on adults to be careful and not to hold foreign objects in their mouths when preoccupied.

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