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Needle extracted from lungs

AIIMS doctors remove 4-cm needle from child’s lung

A multidisciplinary team of 12 doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, saved the life of a seven-year-old boy by extracting a four-centimeter sewing machine needle that had become lodged deep inside his left lung on November 2, 2023.

According to the doctors, the boy inadvertently took the needle, which then moved to his left lung and became lodged there.

The child, who lives in Seelampur, Delhi, kept the occurrence a secret out of worry for their parents. After taking the medication for a day, he first experienced a temperature, but he did not report it.

He started to cough violently in the interim, and blood began to come out of it. His parents were terrified, and they took him to a local nursing home.

At the nursing home there, the child had an x-ray. According to the doctors, the needle lodged in his left lung. The nursing facility lacked the skilled staff necessary to extract the needle. He was therefore referred to AIIMS for additional condition care.

Dr. Devendra Yadav, an additional professor from the department of pediatric surgery, and Dr. Vishesh Jain, an additional professor, oversaw the procedure.

Dr. Vishesh Jain told Drug Today Medical Times that it was difficult to remove the needle as it had been lodged so deeply inside the left lung. Nonetheless, the medical professionals at AIIMS are skilled in removing these foreign bodies.

Dr. Jain emphasized that in the beginning, the team used endoscopy to pinpoint the precise location of the needle. Open surgery seemed to be the only option to remove the needle, though, as it continued to be difficult to remove.

Nevertheless, the group conducted a lengthy brainstorming session and came up with a magnet plan for a seamless needle removal. 

After Dr. Vishesh Jain contacted a close friend, the purchase of a strong magnet from the busy Chandi Chowk market in Delhi was expeditiously made possible.

The magnet that was selected, which had just 4mm of width and 1.5mm of thickness, was ideal for removing the needle. 

The team also created a specialised tool with a single jaw, to which the magnet was fastened firmly with rubber bands and thread. To get ready for the crucial operation, this device was meticulously sterilized.

After making all the necessary arrangements and putting the patient to sleep, the team performed an endoscopy to determine the exact location of the needle in the left lung. All they found was the very tip of the needle, tucked deep inside the lung.

According to Dr. Jain, it would have been impossible for conventional instruments to reach this depth.

He made the point that, as the magnet-tipped instrument was carefully inserted, the critical moment arrived. The needle responded to the magnetic force in an almost magical way, smoothly popping out from its hidden place. The surgical team applauded and let out sighs of relief after the successful extraction.



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