KOCHI: In a rare instance, two hospitals in Kochi have successfully removed bones lodged in the vocal cords of a one-year-old baby and a 71-year-old Omani national in the span of a few days.
The one-year-old had developed breathlessness as multiple fish bones remained stuck in his vocal cords. The family took him to a nearby hospital and doctors tried to manage his condition with antibiotics and nebulization.
However, when the child’s condition deteriorated despite the treatment, he was referred to a pulmonologist, who took the chest x-ray and found that it was normal.
When he asked the family members whether the baby had a history of foreign body aspiration, they replied that the child was not in the habit of swallowing anything.
But the child’s condition aggravated and his oxygen saturation levels dipped. The concerned pulmonologist decided to take a neck x-ray to see if there was any soft-tissue abnormality. The lateral view showed that there was a suspicious tiny opacity.
For further management, the child was referred to Amrita Hospital, Kochi. An emergency bronchoscopy showed that a sharp foreign body was lodged in the vocal cords.
"The images showed that there was fish bone lodged in the vocal cords and in the tracheal lumen. We were surprised to see the fish bones and later the family members admitted that a few days ago they had fed a few fish pieces along with rice to the child,” chief interventional pulmonologist of Amrita Hospital Dr Tinku Joseph said. Normally, children of this age are not fed fish.
The bones were successfully removed under conscious sedation using flexible bronchoscopy and grasping forceps. According to hospital sources, the child is fine.
Salim Nazar, the 71-year-old Omani national reached the Rajagiri Hospital, Kochi, complaining of persistent cough and breathlessness. A team of doctors at the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, led by Dr. Melcy Cleetus, found a bone lodged in the vocal cords of the patient.
An immediate bronchoscopy was conducted and the bone was extracted by a team led by Dr. Rajesh and comprising Dr. Jyolsna Augustine and Dr. R. Divya.
The bone had been remaining lodged in the vocal cords of the Omani for the past four years.