A 4-year-old child in Saudi Arabia swallowed a bobby pin that perforated his intestine and pierced his kidney before the doctors removed it through surgery, a new case report states.
Dr. Yasmin Abdulaziz Yousef, of the department of surgery at KAMC-JD, National Guard Health Affairs in Jeddah and assistant professor at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, said that as soon as children are able to pick up objects they tend to explore the world using their mouth.
Swallowed objects rarely lead to serious complications because most of the time they are able to pass through the gastrointestinal tract, Dr. Yousef said. More severe problems occur when the swallowed object is sharp and thin, such as nails, pins, fish bones, or when magnets or disk batteries are swallowed by children.
The boy was brought to the hospital – where Dr. Yousef worked – three months after he had swallowed the bobby pin. According to the case report, the 4-year-old had been experiencing chills and fever over the three-month period.
One doctor diagnosed him with urinary tract infection (UTI) and gave him an antibiotic treatment, but the boy’s condition seized to improve. Then he was admitted to another facility where an X-ray showed that the boy had a bobby pin in his right upper abdomen, but the doctors told his parents that the pin would pass through the child’s system.
In January 2015, the boy was examined by Dr. Yousef using a CT scan (X-ray computed tomography) which revealed that the bobby pin was stuck in the 4-year-old’s right kidney.
According to the case report, the bobby pin had become extremely sharp, had rusted, and had perforated the first section of the small intestine and was lodged deep into the boy’s kidney.
“We have treated a few patients with complications due to swallowed disk batteries, but I have never encountered an object that perforates the bowel and gets lodged in the kidney in my practice before,” Dr. Yousef stated.
Surgeons managed to successfully remove the bobby pin from the boy’s kidney, and he recovered shortly after, the report noted.
The new report of the boy’s case was published November 5 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
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