This X-ray shows how an eight-year-old boy had a metal star stuck in his throat which had to be removed as he was choking.
The startling incident took place when the boy was taken to the District Hospital in Niguarda, in the city of Milan, in the northern Italian region of Lombardy, after being transferred from another hospital.
Images show the metal star, measuring 1.5 centimetres (0.6 inches) in diameter, was stuck in the boys trachea.
Massimo Torre, the Director of Thoracic Surgery at the hospital told local media: “We decided to intervene immediately, the boy was very suffocated despite the star having been in his trachea for around one day.”
Hospital sources said the operation to remove the star took around one hour, with a bronchoscope camera being used to locate it.
Surgeon Serena Conforti said that using the bronchoscope “small forceps were used to get the inhaled item out”.
The surgery reportedly required specialised staff and equipment to ensure no damage was done to the patient.
Conforti added: “The item was located in the upper part of the trachea, just under the vocal cords.”
The hospital reportedly averages around 15 such cases per year, with the patients having an average age of three years old. Among the items they have found are toy parts, screws, pins, seeds and beans.
Conforti said surgeries to remove inhaled objects can take over three hours.
The hospital told CEN that the parents do not know how the child swallowed the star.
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Story By: Ana Lacasa, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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