Most Israelis don’t use safety pins on cloth diapers, favoring a swaddling method of old. Nevertheless, a safety pin made news recently when parents rushed their 8-month-old to the Swartz Center for Emergency Medicine at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem. She was making choking sounds, and the parents noticed that missing from its place above the crib was a large safety pin on which a Hamsa hand to ward off the evil eye was hanging.
They couldn’t find the pin. Using x-ray scans, the Hadassah doctors did. It was in the baby’s stomach.
The pin needed to be retrieved by endoscopy before it reached any of the vital organs. Under general anesthesia, senior pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Zev Davidovics lowered an optical fiber and tiny equipment through the baby’s mouth to the stomach, then gently and carefully removed the pin.
Says Dr. Davidovics, “The family’s mystical intentions were good, but the danger involved was very great. Please keep small objects away from toddlers and babies. They endanger the children’s lives. Children develop quickly and a baby who hasn’t reached for items today will do so tomorrow, and sometimes we won’t even notice. We were relieved that we were able to remove the pin without its doing any damage.”