VELLORE: Doctors at the Vellore Government Medical College have removed a small plastic whistle from the lungs of a 11-year old boy on Saturday without anesthetising the boy.
College dean Dr Selvaraj told Express that this was the first time in the history of the hospital that a foreign body was removed from a small boy without using anesthesia.
He said that 11-year old Yuvaraj from Sholinghur was brought to the hospital on Friday evening with a lot of pain and whistling noises as he breathed. An X ray confirmed the presence of the foreign body on top of the lung. On Saturday morning, a team of doctors led by Dr R Madanagopal, head, department of ENT, using fibre optic bronchoscopy identified the exact location of the foreign body near the lung and with the help of the rigid endoscope it was removed. The whole procedure lasted for about 15 minutes.
This procedure is common in big cities where such incidents involving children are common. Children have the habit of chewing toys, and sometimes go to sleep with food-stuff such as chocolate, peanuts etc in their mouths and while sleeping they swallow it either with or without their knowledge noted Madanagopal who added that parents should not give small toys to children to play with and they should also monitor what they are playing with. Adults swallowing foreign bodies is common, especially after consuming liquor with adults known to have swallowed a tough part of a fish or in the case of elderly persons who are known to have swallowed their dentures, usually removed under anesthesia.
For children one has to be careful as they are more susceptible to anesthesia-related complications.
The doctor also pointed out that most often parents try to remove the foreign bodies by making the children vomit or by forcing them to eat food. If the foreign body gets into the oesophagus it may not cause much damage and its removal is much easier. If it gets into the air passage or lung, the problem gets complicated.
Recently the Vellore GH removed a coin from the oesophagus of a small girl without anesthesia. It was a simple procedure, Madanagopal said.