AIIMS doctors extract needle deeply embedded in 7-year-old’s lung

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Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi have successfully extracted a needle embedded in the left lung of a seven-year-old boy using a magnet. The hospital said that the intricate and delicate procedure was necessitated by the unique challenges presented by the needle’s location within the lung and the limited space available for surgical instruments.  

The paediatric surgery team led by Dr. Vishesh Jain, Additional Professor, Paediatric Surgery and Dr. Devendra Kumar Yadav, Additional Professor in Paediatric Surgery department extracted the large sewing machine embedded in the lung. The boy was admitted in a life-threatening condition after encountering hemoptysis and subsequent radiological investigations revealing a long sewing machine needle in the left lung, said Dr Jain.

The doctors said that the needle resided so profoundly within the lung that traditional methods would prove almost ineffective and prompted them to explore innovative solutions to safely and effectively extract the needle, said Dr Yadav.

Dr Jain reached out to an acquaintance who facilitated the procurement of the magnet from the bustling Chandni Chowk market the same evening. The magnet, 4 mm in width and 1.5 mm in thickness, was the perfect tool for the job, he said.

Doctors said that the primary objective was to ensure the secure delivery of the magnet to the needle’s location without any risk of dislodging it into the trachea. The team ingeniously devised a specialized instrument equipped with only one jaw, to which the magnet was securely affixed using thread and a rubber band. This ingenious instrument underwent scrupulous sterilization in preparation for the critical procedure.

According to Dr Yadav, the team commenced with an endoscopy of the windpipe to assess the needle’s location within the left lung. What they encountered was solely the needle’s tip, deeply nestled within the lung. “The magnet-tipped instrument was carefully inserted. It seemed almost magical as the needle responded to the magnetic force, smoothly emerging from its concealed location. It was successfully extracted,” Dr Jain said.The removal of the embedded needle stands as a testament to AIIMS’ unwavering commitment to providing world-class healthcare, even in the face of the most complex and unique cases, said the AIIMS.