Teenager Swallows a Sewing Pin Without Noticing, Pierces His Heart

If you're wondering about the oddest cases in the medical history, here is one.

Imagine forgetting that you're holding a sewing pin between your lips while tailoring your favorite shirt. What would happen next? Probably it would just slip off of your mouth to the ground, or worst case scenario, it would just prick one of your legs. 

3 days without noticing

This teenager's experience was a bit different. A sewing pin was found within his heart after he accidentally swallowed it. Even worse, he didn't really remember what happened until he started to feel the pain. 

The report of the case has been published recently in the Journal of Emergency Medicine on July 29.


According to the case report, doctors in the Emergency Department initially suspected a possible inflammation on the outer membrane of the heart. The teenager reportedly had sharp chest pain for three days, when he finally decided to pay a visit to the hospital. 

It was definitely an unexpected result when a lung radiograph detected an unexpected mass at the front side of the chest. That was when doctors thought of a foreign body. To confirm it, the 17-year-old went through a computerized chest tomography, and there it was: a 1.3 inch (3.5-cm) long sewing pin within the right ventricle of the heart.

The laboratory test results also revealed that the protein levels in teenager's blood had increased, which is a sign of heart injury, as Live Science reported

How did the pin find its way to the heart?

As Dr. Bonnie Mathews, lead author of the case report, told Live Science, the pin most likely took a trip to the heart from the stomach when it first fell down there through the alimentary canal. 

Reportedly, the teenager explained that he hadn't ingested any foreign objects or had any physical trauma that could hurt his chest. However, it dawned on him that he had swallowed a pin without noticing while he was working on his clothes with the pin in his mouth. 


The pin had to be removed immediately. The unfortunate 17-year-old had to undergo an open heart surgery.

As Dr. Mathews reported, he recovered from the surgery and fortunately, no life-threatening complications occurred afterward. 

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