Tue, Mar 06, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Doctors warn of risks posed by sharp objects

By Liu Pin-chuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Doctors reminded the public that small, sharp objects should be collected and safely put away, and in the event that someone is unable to extract an object that has accidentally punctured their body, they should visit a hospital as soon as possible, so that doctors could help locate the object and, if necessary, extract it.

Lee Po-chang (李博彰), a physician at Nantou Hospital’s Department of Surgery, said that a 40-year-old woman surnamed Chen (陳) accidentally broke a sewing pin, and the head somehow became embedded in her skin, without her knowing it.

The patient was roused from sleep by a prickling pain under her right armpit, and after searching around, she found a sewing needle with its head broken off, Lee quoted her as saying.

“The sewing needle was very thin and proved difficult to locate via palpation or sonic scans, and as doctors in the emergency section were unable tso find a visible wound, we resorted to X-ray imagery,” Lee said.

The X-ray showed that the head of the needle was lodged in her right-rear chest wall and did not damage any organs, as it had not penetrated deeply, Lee said.

Had the needle penetrated the same location deeper, it could have caused pneumothorax, an abnormal collection of air in the pleural space between the lung and the chest wall, or hemothorax, a pleural effusion in which blood accumulates in the pleural cavity, Lee said, adding that in severe cases Chen’s wounds could have become infected.

The hospital was able to remove the needle after locating it with the X-ray, Lee said.

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