RGICD removes pen cap lodged in woman's lungs

A 19-year-old from Hubballi suffered for nearly a decade. She seemed to find no solution to her persistent cough. Congestion seemed to be a problem that would last forever.

At Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD), she was operated upon and was relieved of the pain. Lingavva (name changed) had accidentally inhaled a pen cap as a child and this had gone undiagnosed, leading to several complications. Being given symptomatic treatment, the effect that the foreign object in the lung caused was severe. After having visited several doctors at her hometown, she was referred to RGICD.

Speaking about the case, Dr Shashidhar Buggi, director, RGICD said, “She came to us with a damage to the left lower lobe. She had severe cough for the last 9-10 years.” Buggi said it was methodical examination and systematic approach that helped save this girl who is a student nurse. “In the past, doctors had treated her for cough.

However, none bothered to find the reason behind it. Patient was subjected to bronchoscopy and we understood that there was a foul-smelling puss. The pen cap had impacted (can’t be removed easily),” he added. For instance, when a person has headache, he can be given pain killers once or twice. However, if the patient continues to have a headache, the cause behind it has to be determined. Such is the case with thoracic issues, he said.

When quizzed, the patient was unable to recall the incident when inhaled the pen cap. However, the girl said she had difficulty breathing for over nine years now. “The girl had to be prepared for four weeks before she underwent the surgery. She is recovering now,” said Buggi.

In the past, the institute had a case where a 17-year-old had a foreign body embedded in his lungs. On examination, it was found that the boy had a piece of gold in his lungs.

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