Doctors saved a two-year-old boy after he swallowed eight needles on a family farm.
The boy, whose name was not identified, was playing on the farm where his mother works near Tarapoto, Peru, when he swallowed needles meant to inject cows.
X-rays revealed that all eight were inside his digestive system, two of them dangerously close to the rectum and bladder and at least one had damaged his small intestine.
Swallowing sharp objects is dangerous as they can pierce internal organs, causing significant bleeding and loss of digestive juices.
Doctors said the boy was lucky and did not suffer serious injuries from the needles. He was on a liquid-only diet for a few days to give his intestines time to heal.
The scan above shows the eight needles lodged inside the child in Tarapoto, Peru. Two were dangerously close to his bladder and rectum.
The boy appears in the photo above with his mother, Narly Olórtegui Pisco. He swallowed the needles while playing on the farm where she worked.
The regional government said in a statement: ‘Regarding the needles that her son ingested, the mother pointed out that it was an oversight by the owner of the farm where she works, since there are livestock there that are constantly cared for by a veterinarian.
“Therefore, it is assumed that the needles used on the cows were the cause of this accident, which fortunately was not serious.”
After the mother realized that her son had swallowed the needles, he was rushed to II-2 hospital on September 9 for treatment.
The scans revealed all eight needles inside the boy’s body, two of them on the left side of his peritoneum, which lines the inner wall of the abdomen.
Another three were on the right side of the peritoneum, while one was on the abdominal wall, located just behind the peritoneum, and two were dangerously close to the rectum and bladder.
The eight needles were removed in a nearly two-hour operation by the surgeon. Efrain Salazar Tito.
Doctors said the boy was treated for a small injury to his small intestine.
He was placed on an all-liquid diet for a few days to give his small intestine time to heal and was allowed to leave the hospital several days later.
The child’s mother, Narly Olórtegui Pisco thanked Doctor Salazar and his medical team for acting so quickly to remove the needles.
She said: “Had it not been for his timely surgical intervention, his health would have worsened and the outcome would have been different.”
Doctors did not reveal the boy’s symptoms, but in a previous case involving a 54-year-old woman who swallowed a sewing needle, the patient was described as feeling discomfort in her lower abdomen. She had no other symptoms.
Other symptoms patients may experience include pain, difficulty swallowing, and nausea or choking if the needle gets stuck in the throat.
Medical journals say ingestion of foreign objects is most common among children under three years old.
Coins and bones are the most frequently ingested objects, they said.
These are normally transmitted naturally, but there is a risk in the case of a thin, sharp object that it could pierce a part of the body such as the intestine.
If the object is too large to be removed by endoscopy, doctors may have to operate.