4-Year-Old Operated for a Perforated Intestine Due to Swallowing of a Bobby Pin

by Reshma Anand on Nov 7 2015 4:58 PM

4-Year-Old Operated for a Perforated Intestine Due to Swallowing of a Bobby Pin
Kids are playful and they tend to put whatever they come across inside their mouth. Similarly a 4-year-old swallowed a bobby pin unknowingly. He had experienced pain in the upper part of the abdomen and was taken to a hospital. A team of doctors performed a surgery to remove the pin and now he has recovered without any complications.
"Children actually start exploring the world using their mouth as soon as they are able to pick up objects. However, serious complications due to swallowed objects are really rare, because objects typically pass through the gastrointestinal tract and end up in the diaper,” said Dr. Yasmin Abdulaziz Yousef, of the department of surgery at KAMC-JD, National Guard Health Affairs in Jeddah, who treated the boy and co-authored the report of his case.

But the doctor in that hospital had just prescribed some antibiotics. In another hospital, a X-ray was taken and they found a bobby pin in his right abdomen. But the doctors assured his parents that the bobby pin will eventually come out through the feces.

However, the boy's symptoms did not subside, and when he came to Yousef's hospital, a CT scan revealed that the bobby pin had become lodged in the boy's right kidney. The ends of the pin had rusted and become sharp, and the pin had pierced through the first section of the small intestine and penetrated deep into his kidney.

“Problems are more common when the object that was swallowed is thin and sharp, such as pins, nails and fish bones, or when children swallow disk batteries or magnets. These have a higher chance of causing perforations and other serious problems," said Yousef."We have treated a few patients with complications due to swallowed disk batteries as well, but I have never encountered a foreign object that perforates the bowel and gets lodged in the kidney in my practice before," said Yousef.

The doctors operated and removed the pin, and the boy recovered without any further issues. The report was published in the BMJ Journal.

“But parents can protect their kids by keeping sharp objects, tiny toys, nuts, fridge magnets and disc batteries out of toddlers' reach. However, if a child chokes for no apparent reason or starts to wheeze without being a known asthmatic. Parents should seek medical advice, because this may mean that the child might have inhaled an object. Objects that are inhaled can cause more serious consequences than objects that are swallowed,” said Yousef.