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Beads, buttons and peas found in patients in Warrington Hospital
11:00am Friday 7th September 2012 in News
EXTRACTING beads, buttons, peas and coins from ears, noses and throats is all in a day’s work for many doctors at Warrington Hospital.
A Warrington Guardian Freedom of Information request found more than 500 operations removing ‘foreign bodies’ have been carried out since 1999 with ears and noses being the most common for patients getting items lodged.
The oldest patient needing an item removed was aged 69 and spent 50 minutes on the operating table but hospital bosses revealed that the majority of operations take place in children aged under 10.
A spokesman for Warrington and Halton Hospitals said: “Our doctors see all kinds of foreign bodies where patients need A&E care and sometimes surgery to help remove them.
“These figures cover a whole range of items, some of which are better left to the imagination.
“However, the most common cases are in younger patients – objects we’ve seen recently include beads, buttons, watch batteries, small toys, peas and coins.
“If swallowed, careful monitoring is required to see if the body will pass the item without medical assistance.”
The statistics also found an increase in the removal of earrings after young children had their ears pierced and suffered from a painful infection.
Children often have to be sedated to remove them and doctors’ advice is to think carefully about ear piercings and only have them done when the child can be more responsible for the safe removal and cleaning of earrings and studs.
Three and five-year-olds are the most common age in the town to get something stuck in a body part but the hospital also sent out a warning to parents in warm weather as youngsters playing without wearing shoes often leads to an increase in splinters.
The spokesman added: “A common foreign body is splinters in the soles of feet and again it’s about taking care and reminding youngsters to keep their shoes on because glass and other splinters are very painful to remove.”