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Rusty needle removed from boy's heart

DOCTORS at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center removed a 3-centimeter needle from the heart of an eight-year-old boy, who was discharged yesterday.

Parents took Wang Pengfei, a student from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, to a Suzhou hospital for checkup after he felt stomach sickness. X-ray examination found a shadow in his heart.

Under the doctors' suggestion, he was brought the Shanghai Children's Medical Center last Tuesday. A further checkup found a needle-like object in the boy's heart. It was broken into two with one part in the chest muscle and another in the heart.

Doctors decided to operate on the boy immediately because the broken needle could stray further into the heart through heartbeats. The surgery took about one hour last Thursday and the entire needle, rusty and stuck with surrounding tissues, was successfully removed.

Both the boy and his parents could not recall how the needle entered his body. Doctors guessed the needle pierced directly into the skin and lodged in the muscle.

"Fortunately the needle didn't get into a vein otherwise the boy would have died," said Dr Zhang Haibo, the boy's surgeon.


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