The summer vacation is well underway, and staff at the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center have encountered several cases of swallowed or stuck foreign bodies, including a coin, bead, and pin. This week a three year old arrived at the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Unit after having pushed a snail into his nose. The mother relates that her son came to her and told her that he had put the snail into his nose. After the parents tried unsuccessfully to extract it, they came to Hillel Yaffe.
The doctors from the ENT – Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery Unit took out the snail, that was stuck deep inside the right nostril, using gentle equipment and with great care, just before it was sucked into the lungs and could have caused real damage. “The toddler arrived at the Emergency Room very agitated, and it wasn’t possible to remove the snail in the clinic. Therefore we had to take him to the operating room, where we removed the snail in its entirety, under general anesthesia,” noted Dr. Or Dagan, a doctor in the unit, who treated the child.
Dr. Itzhak Braverman, Director of the Unit, said, “If the snail would have been stuck further inside, it could have caused bleeding, pain, and infection. Children breathing in tiny foreign bodies can be fatal, since the possibility exists of the airways becoming blocked and asphyxiation.”
In this context, Dr. Braverman added that signs of the possibility of the presence of a foreign object in the nasal cavity are bleeding from the nose, foul-smelling nasal discharge from one nostril, or ongoing complaints of pain.
And what about the child and the little snail? The toddler was released home after a day, safe and well, promising, together with his parents to set the snail free.
The child holding the snail that was removed from his nose