Fish ends up in boy’s lung after he swallows it live

PHOTO: Fish ends up in boy’s lung after he swallows it live

He swallowed a live fish, which then ended up in his left lung.

And both lived to tell the tale, although it was not very long for the fish.

In a rare surgical operation, a team of city-based doctors in Indore, in central India, saved the life of a 12-year-old boy who had swallowed a 9cm-long live fish.

Anil Barela, who lives in the Khargone district, had been playing on the riverside with hisfriends on May 23, said doctors.

It was a routine for the children to swallow live fish, but this time, when Anil swallowed the fish, instead of it going down his oesophagus, it slipped down his windpipe and entered his left lung.

The boy soon started feeling shortness of breath. His breathing rate was reported to have been 34 per minute – 17 per minute is considered to be normal.

And when the oxygen level in his blood was measured at 80 per cent – 18 per cent per cent lower than normal – an X-ray was ordered.

Dr Pramod Jhawar, a chest specialist and bronchoscope expert, said: “X-ray displayed the left lung completely opaque due to the presence of a foreign object.”

Low oxygen intake

He added: “The fish was alive and taking its last breath when the bronchoscopy was done, restricting the functioning of both the lungs, resulting in low intake of oxygen.”

This is the first case of this sort that they have seen in 20 years, he said.

Dr Jhawar, together with ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist Nikhil Saxena and anaesthetists, performed a 45-minute-long procedure to remove the fish from the boy’s lung.

Dr Saxena said: “We have come across cases where kids swallow plastic or other materials, but this case was unique in its own way.”

This article was first published in The New Paper.