Dr. Saad Saad Addresses Children Swallowing Foreign ObjectsAugust 1, 2018 - Author: steph
Dr. Saad Saad was a pediatric surgeon for 40 years. One of his most common procedures was removing stuck items from the esophagus or trachea of his patients. Her performed this type of surgery more than 1,000 times on patients ranging in age from infants to teenagers. He says that younger children are very curious about things, including how they taste, which can wind up in them swallowing things they shouldn’t. Dr. Saad Saad says if it’s something small it will usually pass through the digestive system without any complications but if it gets stuck in either the food pipe or windpipe it could require surgery to get it removed.
He says that if a child is younger than six years old you might be able to get an item unstuck by turning the child upside down and holding them by their legs. While they are in this position tap them on the back and usually the item they swallowed will come back out. Dr. Saad Saad says that on older children you should perform the Heimlich maneuver which involves standing behind the child and thrusting both of your hands inwards just below their rib cage.
He has said that the two most dangerous things a child can swallow are batteries and peanuts. Dr. Saad Saad says that smaller batteries can be easily swallowed such as AA, AAA, or the small circular batteries that go in watches and the like. Due to their size peanuts can also be easily swallowed and then stick in the windpipe. They are also difficult for surgeons to remove as they can crumble which will cause small pieces to spread throughout the lungs.
Dr. Saad Saad was contacted by the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) in 2002. They needed a pediatric surgeon to operate on a teenager who had been shot on the West Bank. The surgeons in Israel had been able to keep him alive but as his injuries were very complicated they were unable to fully heal him. The PCRF asked Dr. Saad Saad to operate on this child which he agreed to and so the child was flown to the United States. He says that the surgery to save this child took seven hours as there were internal injuries and several holes. He says that the surgery went very well and the child made a full recovery. Since that time Dr. Saad Saad has operated on several other Palestinian children as well.
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