Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh

20 years with a broken rivet in his lungs

Young cricketer from Vijayawada finally gets the sophisticated medical assistance he needed

: In this modern age of X-rays and CAT scans, a 24-year-old youth lived with a rusted rivet in his lung for over two decades. Once discovered, the sharp rivet was removed using a ‘basket’ introduced into his left lung using a bronchoscope.

Pulmonologists at the Kamineni Hospital in Vijayawada were taken by surprise when they found that the youngster, who played district-level cricket, had a rusted foreign body in his lung — a broken rivet. They usually encounter peanuts, seeds and pieces of bone.

Frequent lung infections

Kamineni Hospital’s interventional pulmonologist Srinivas Kumar Ravipati said that the cricket player consulted him because he suffered frequently from lung infections. Doctors who had treated him earlier had profiled him as suffering from asthma. This was because the 3-cm-long rivet could not be distinguished clearly in the X-ray because of its proximity to the young man’s heart, which hid it.

Asked how the rivet ended up in the lungs, Dr. Kumar said that the youth recalled trying to pull it out of his mother’s handbag with his teeth when it suddenly came into his mouth and slipped down his throat. Instead of going down the gullet and into the stomach, the rivet went into the windpipe. This happened a lot in small children and the elderly because their muscular coordination at the time of swallowing is not perfect, Dr. Kumar said.

A miracle

The doctor noted that it was a miracle that not only had the youngster survived with the rivet in his lung for over two decades, he had remained athletic and fit except for the frequent bouts with lung infections.

The removal of the sharp and rusted rivet was a difficult task. Conventionally, a full-fledged operation and nothing less than four weeks of post-op care would be required to treat such a condition but the patient in this case recovered in just a few days after an endoscopy. A basket was introduced into the lungs using a bronchoscope through the nose, and the rivet had to be freed from tissue, put into the basket and removed with great care, Dr. Kumar explained.

The lower section of the left lung had become partially dysfunctional because the rivet had blocked one of the airways. “We had to wash that part of the lung with a lot of saline water. The washing was full of material that appeared like rust,” Dr. Kumar said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 4:56:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/20-years-with-a-broken-rivet-in-his-lungs/article16375037.ece

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