Bikur Holim doctor removes 'needle in a haystack'

A four-centimeter-long needle was removed on Wednesday from the lung of a 13-year-old girl who held it in her mouth and then inhaled it. Dr. Elimelech Deutsch, head of the ear-nose-and-throat department at Jerusalem's Bikur Holim Hospital, decided to remove it via bronchoscopy - a "fishing" technique using an endoscope with tiny tweezers at the end. It took hours to reach the final branching of the lower left lung, but he and colleagues did it - saving her from having to undergo thoracic surgery. If the needle had not been removed, he said, it could have punctured her heart and endangered her life. Bikur Holim staffers warned children and parents against putting objects into their mouths that should not be swallowed.
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