In a bizarre chain of events, a five-year old boy narrowly missed being killed by a common schoolhouse implement. According to the FoxNews.com, the young boy was running with a pencil in his hand when he tripped and fell right on top of the pencil, which impaled him in the chest. His parents immediately rushed him to the Lianjiang People’s Hospital, near the family’s home in South China’s Guangdong Provice.
The doctors at the state-run medical facility rejected the young boy’s case due to the severity of his injury. They advised the parents to have him transferred to the Central People’s hospital of Zhanjiang in Guangzhou. He was rushed to surgery upon arrival, and doctors were able to extricate the pencil without incident. As of April 28, the boy, whose name has not been disclosed, has been recovering from his injury while under observation.
In a statement to AsiaWire.news, Head of the department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Dr. Dai Ming said that the pencil tip pierced the young boy’s superior vena cava. This vein is “the larger of two venous trunks that return deoxygenated blood from the body to the right atrium of the heart.” The doctor noted that, if the pencil had been thrust forward by just 0.2in, then it would have punctured the artery and caused fatal internal bleeding. Dr. Dai Ming also praised the young boy’s parents for not pulling out the pencil from their son’s chest and seeking medical assistance instead. Had they removed the pencil themselves, then excessive bleeding would have occurred and most likely cause the boy to die from blood loss.
The Guangxi Minzu Hospital in Nanning witnessed a similar case in February. A three-year old girl nicknamed “Xiao Hua” was admitted for emergency treatment for a pencil that had pierced her throat. Xiao Hua arrived at the hospital with the pencil lodged in her neck but fully conscious. The parents claim that their daughter was drawing at her desk one evening when she accidentally flipped the table and caused the sharp end of the pencil to pierce her neck. Surgeons safely removed the pencil, which had not ruptured any major arteries.
Dr. Ban Zhangfeng, Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist at the hospital, commended the young girl’s parents for keeping the pencil in place as they carried her to the medical facility. “The girl’s parents acted correctly,” Dr. Ban Zhangfeng said. (Related: Every Parent Should Know Basic First Aid)
Pencil-related accidents among children are not a recent phenomenon, however. In 2012, a two-year old girl in Peasedown St John, Somerset had part of her skull removed to take out the pencil that speared her eye socket and became deeply embedded in her brain. An identical occurrence transpired in 2013 in New Boston, New Hampshire. A 19-month old toddler fell off a reclining chair and onto a pencil that entered her eye and remained fixed inside her brain. In 2009, a one-and-a-half-year old boy in Meridian, Idaho, was brought to St. Luke’s Children Hospital after an accident in the playground resulted in a swing jamming a pencil into the back of his neck. All of the children survived their harrowing accidents.
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