Whistle bought at Merom nearly kills soon-to-be soldier

Doctors manage, under general anesthesia, to pull dangerous part out of 19-year-old's respiratory system and save his life.

May 23, 2011 06:51
1 minute read.
YOEL SOFER swallowed this whistle part.

whistle. (photo credit: Kplan Medical Center)


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An NIS 20 whistle with a metal piece with sharp edges that a 19-year-old had bought at the Lag Ba’omer events at Mount Meron near Safed entered his lungs, requiring him to be treated urgently at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot on Sunday.

The doctors managed, under general anesthesia, to pull the dangerous part out of his respiratory system and save his life.

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Yoel Sofer, who will soon enter the army, went to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar- Yohai with his friends. “I came home in the morning to let my mother hear the funny noises from the whistle, which made me laugh. Almost immediately, I mistakenly inhaled pieces of metal. I started to cough immediately. I couldn’t breathe and foam came out of my mouth. After my father, Motti, tried to tap me on the back several times to remove the foreign object but didn’t succeed, he put me in the car and took me to the emergency room in Rehovot.”

Doctors rushed him to the surgical theater where they removed the metal wheel from his lung.

“I was shocked by the size and sharpness of the wheel,” his father said.

There are no inspectors at the Meron site, where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visited from Friday through Sunday night, thus none of the goods sold there were checked for safety.

Dr. Rafi Vishnitzer, a lung surgeon from the ear-noseand- throat department, said the young man was lucky, as using a flexible bronchoscope, they were able to get to it maneuver it outside his lung.


It could have blocked the airways, he said. Just pulling the sharp metal out was dangerous, as it could have harmed the tissue of the trachea and the vocal cords.

Motti called on the government authorities to educate youth about such dangers and prevent dangerous and illegal products from reaching the market.

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