Doctors remove pen cap from boy's lung, warn of dangers of sucking on pen caps

Eight-year-old boy had a punctured lung after he accidentally swallowed a pen cap.

Pen cap removed from lung by doctors (photo credit: KAPLAN MEDICAL CENTER)
Pen cap removed from lung by doctors
Never put the cap of a stick-pencil or pen into your mouth. That is the lesson learned by an eight-and-a-half-year-old boy -- good for every child and adult -- who nearly died when the mechanical lead pencil cap he sucked on entered his lung and punctured it.
Rehovot doctors at Kaplan Medical Center’s pediatric intensive care unit (headed by Dr. Eli Shapiro) pulled the cap out from the bottom of his lung in surgery in which he was anesthetized and attached to a respirator.
Lidor, a resident of Yavneh, was rushed to the hospital, where doctors saw that his lung had collapsed due to the puncture. His mother was alerted by a phone call from his school that he was choking on the cap and hospitalized. “I prayed silently all the way to Kaplan, where doctors said he had difficulty breathing and had to go to the operating room to save him. Lidor is not in the intensive care unit, and doctors hope he will be able to return to a normal routine.
Lung expert Dr. Avi Hevroni said that the shape of the cap caused it to sink to the bottom of the lung and cause the puncture. Not only did his lung collapse, but his neck became very swollen. The surgeons used a tiny balloon usually utilized for angioplasty, inflated it with air and managed to pull it out whole. “This was an unconventional treatment for an unconventional problem, said Hevroni.
Some years ago, manufacturers of stick pens and mechanical pencils were required to make holes in the cap to allow air to enter if it is stuck in the trachea, but this does not work effectively when lodged in the lungs.