Doctors at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba performed a surgical procedure to remove a metallic magnet part that a nine-month-old baby from Ra'anana swallowed accidentally.
The part that Nigun Dafan swallowed was in the shape of sharp needles and got stuck in the intestine. "Nigun was playing with his older sister with the large magnets hanging on the refrigerator, about half a meter away from me, while I'm, watching that there weren't any smaller parts that he might swallow," his mother Einat recounted.
"Suddenly, he started screaming, and despite our attempts to calm him down, we were unsuccessful. We saw a small cut on his tongue. We assumed he bit it, and that's where the panic and pain came from. He continued nursing as usual, ate, and vomited. After a relatively good night, he vomited again in the morning after eating, and that's when we realized something was wrong. We immediately took him to the pediatric emergency department at Meir Medical Center."
"We have had that magnet for eight years, it's made of strong and heavy metal, as we never imagined that it could break and endanger Nigun's life. We want to thank the pediatric sorting team, who acted swiftly and delicately, and the doctors who handled the situation expertly, with great dedication, and rare sensitivity," the parents said.
Dr. Ayelet Shles, Deputy Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Meir Medical Center, said: "Immediately upon receiving the child in the pediatric unit and after hearing the parents' description of the case, our suspicion was that the child had swallowed a foreign object. Although nothing was visible in the throat, we proceeded to perform an imaging examination which confirmed the presence of a foreign body in the upper part of the intestine. We contacted the Ear-Nose-Throat department, and he was immediately transferred to the operating room."
"The operating room staff made sure to maintain an open airway for the baby and conducted, using an endoscope and examination of the intestine. The device is a small tube through which passes a camera and allows visualization of the intestine," Dr. Yaniv Avner, Director of the Pediatric Gastroenterology Department, and Dr. Amin Biadseh, Senior Surgeon in the Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Unit explained.
"We identified the foreign object and observed its sharp structure. The concern in such cases is that it may become lodged in the folds of the intestine during extraction. With the use of specialized endoscopic instruments, we delicately removed it through surgical procedures."
Dr. Shles described that "the ingestion and aspiration of foreign bodies are not uncommon among infants and toddlers. These are ages where, on one hand, they are mobile enough to reach foreign objects and put them in their mouths, and on the other hand, they may not be able to communicate or express discomfort or hindrance during swallowing."
This case is an opportunity to remind parents of the suspicious signs of ingestion or aspiration of a foreign object, even if they did not witness the incident:
- Excessive drooling
- Sudden choking sounds
- Refusal to eat and drink
"In such cases, immediate medical attention should be sought at the hospital for appropriate medical treatment," the doctors emphasized.