11-Year-Old Swallows a Cell of a Digital Watch, Safe Now

An 11-year-old from Tardeo in Maharashtra accidentally swallowed a small cell of a digital watch. When he started coughing incessantly and had difficulty breathing, he was rushed to Jaslok Hospital, where he was successfully treated.

Speaking to FIT, the father of the child said,

"“My child has a habit to chew on things like pen and pencils. My wife and I make it a point to take it out from his mouth. This time, he started vomiting and experiencing chest pain. When it didn’t stop for an hour, we realized what had happened.”"

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Dr Harish Chafle, Consultant Respiratory Medicine at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, examined the patient and conducted an X-ray only to find that the cell had entered his lungs.

"“The procedure performed was a bronchoscopic removal of a foreign body (in this case the cell of a wrist watch). It was a difficult case as the child was just 11-year-old and the bronchoscopy had to be performed immediately while ensuring that he is breathing. The cell had been leaking and the acid had started causing inflammation and bleeding where it was placed.”" - Dr Harish Chafle

The child was revived and discharged within 24 hours after the treatment.

The doctor recalled other such cases where children tended to swallow tiny articles like peanuts, screws, pencil tips or cells. “I distinctly remember a 13-year-old boy who had come to me after three years of being told he had been suffering from bronchial asthma. After clinical examination, I found that he had swallowed a small peanut which had been causing the whistling sound.”

He cautioned that parents need to ensure that children are away from such items — and to watch them if they do end up playing with these. It’s a good option to pat their backs in a particular way to let the thing come out immediately.

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