Just after I had gone to bed after a heavy day of plenty of surgeries, I got a call from emergency room. A four year old baby has been rushed into the emergency with sudden inability to swallow & throat pain. In minutes I was there. Parents were in great anxiety & the child was crying continuously. Mother said that she had seen her playing with a two rupee coin and suddenly her condition became an emergency. So we rushed her to X-ray department and found that the coin was stuck up in her upper part of food pipe. It was too big to go inside and too big to vomit out. It was completely stuck. It was blocking the food pipe and hence she could not even swallow her own saliva. I immediately called the anesthetist and rushed her to the endoscopy department.
Although the child has dinner just few hours ago, I had to take her up and relive her from this life threatening situation. Under general anesthesia, I entered the food pipe. Saw the coin impacted. Under anesthesia the coin had moved downwards. There was not much space in this small child’s food pipe for me to manipulate it to come out. I gently pushed it into the stomach taking care that I do not damage her delicate food pipe. Once the coin was in stomach, there was ample of space for me to manipulate the coin & put it into a special wire basket that I introduced it thro my endoscope.
Under vision, I gently pulled put the coin thro the food pipe. The basket had gripped the coin so well that there was no chance that while removing the coin would fall into the windpipe or oral cavity. The parents were greatly relieved. Next morning the child was as playful as before and was discharged.
Parents should be careful about the objects that their children play with. I have removed buttons, parts of toys, coins, button cells and even pins. These are potentially dangerous and can cause sudden accidental catastrophe in the family.