Doctors from Burgas saved a child from Karnobat who had been living with a coin in her esophagus for over a month

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20 pennies
20 pennies. Photo: Hospital Burgas

The doctors from the Ward of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases at the Burgas Main Hospital saved a child who had been living for a month and a half with 20 pennies stuck between her throat and esophagus. However, the child was eating and drinking water, playing, not coughing and there was nothing to suggest that there was a foreign body in such a dangerous place. Until the moment when she had very high fever several times without any other symptoms and the medics started looking for the cause.

2-year-old Melissa loved to play with coins, and to tame her, her parents often poured a jar of pennies for her to sort through. The same happened on June 5. Suddenly the child started coughing and choking. The mother was worried that the little one had swallowed a coin, although she did not see it.

I was in the other room, she called me, she said – the child must have swallowed a coin. She reached his finger into our daughter’s throat, but she couldn’t find anything. There were many coins, if there was one, let’s see it, but there is no way to know that one is missing. Then the child calmed down, she wasn’t coughing anymore, but we went to the hospital. They took a picture of the stomach, but nothing was visible,„, the father, Ahmed Cholev, said.

Examination of the throat also showed no foreign body. So they decided that it either passed out naturally or wasn’t swallowed at all. The parents calmed down and for a few weeks everything was fine – Melissa went to daycare, ate, drank water and juices, was cheerful, played. Until ten days ago, when she suddenly started suffering from an inexplicably high fever.

„We went to our GP – an antibiotic. It’s falling. Then he picks up again – a second antibiotic. And it doesn’t pass. He suspected that there might be something in the lung and directed us to take a picture again,“ says the father.

„We went to our personal doctor – an antibiotic. The temperature dropped. Then it rose again – a second antibiotic. The child did not recover. The doctor suspected that there was something in the lungs and directed us to take a picture again,“, the father explained.

On the X-ray of the lung, the coin shone right at the entrance to the esophagus – at the end of the throat. The laboratory assistant was surprised – could the child have been wearing a locket that was not removed before the X-ray? Then the mother remembered the coin game and assumed that it was the swallowed penny, stuck deep in the throat, at the very beginning of the esophagus.

The coin was taken out by Assoc. Dr. Daniel Petkov and Dr. Ivaylo Iliev.

In the Ward of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, the doctors often save children with coins, batteries or other objects stuck in the throat and airways, but this is the first time they encounter a foreign body that has been there for such a long time. The case will be described in a scientific publication, and doctors advise parents to be careful and not let young children play with small objects that can be swallowed, nor give them nuts, candy and other age-inappropriate foods.

„We are very happy and satisfied with all the doctors, especially that they saved my child from this torment. That he is sick and you don’t know what’s wrong with him, that he constantly takes medicine. It’s already the second day after the operation – she doesn’t have any fever, she’s playing, we thank from the bottom of our hearts,„, says Ahmed Cholev.

The family is from Karnobat, where they have a small fruit shop. For years, the man worked in a fish factory abroad to save money and open it. They also have another, older daughter. Melissa is now out of the hospital and the family hopes that the bad is behind them.

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