What happens if you swallow a needle


Everyone remembers how his parents scared him in childhood with the story that if you swallow a needle, it will enter the heart through the veins, causing a fatal outcome. But is this really so? What really happens if you swallow a needle, what determines the degree of danger? Let’s see how dangerous this incident is for the life of the human body and what to do to avoid the fatal consequences.

Can a person accidentally swallow a needle

No matter how funny and ridiculous it may sound, there are many sudden cases in which you can swallow a needle:


  • A sane normal person just will not swallow a needle. But imagine a situation where you need to sew something up, and to straighten the fabric or see how the seam comes out, you took a needle into your mouth and suddenly sneezed, yawned, hiccuped. In half of these moments, the needle under the influence of air instantly enters the throat. A large percentage of needle hits in the body relates to fashion designers and seamstresses.
  • Very often small children swallow needles. Studying the world around them, the little ones try everything on the tooth. Crawling and playing on the floor, it’s not difficult for them to find the needle that mother had previously accidentally dropped.
  • There is an ancient tradition of fortune-telling on cookies, which determines the fate of a person. Inside, they bake little notes with wishes, buttons, jewelry and even needles, pins. From time to time there are times when during this fortune-telling people accidentally swallow a needle.
  • In ancient times, a rite of “devotion” was conducted, during which a person swallowed a needle in order to prove his humility, fidelity, innocence and integrity. The survivors after swallowing the needles were considered a righteous person, and the deceased was considered a liar.
  • Prisoners often use a needle to try to get into the infirmary. Others slip their needles into food for their cellmates to avenge grievances..
  • In some cases, people consciously swallow needles, making money on it. For example, when performing tricks, circus performances.

What to do if swallowed a needle

Everyone should know the precautions against getting a needle into the body, so that in an emergency, without panic, be able to help the victim. The main thing is to remember that even the smallest swallowed needle can cause serious harm to human health from cutting pains to death. The most important action that you will need to perform is to make a call to the ambulance service. If possible, immediately go to the hospital to take an X-ray. Only an experienced doctor can locate the needle and remove it..

What actions to take

If you are far from the hospital, or in your area there is none at all, you need to take measures to remove the needle yourself. Such a folk method can give a good effect: take a small (1-2 grams) piece of cotton wool and moisten it well with liquid paraffin (liquid paraffin), roll the ball and swallow it. After 3-4 hours, eat semolina or oatmeal. Eat no less than a plate of porridge, and preferably two. These dishes have an enveloping effect and protect the inside from being pierced by a needle. If there is no petroleum jelly, use only porridge.

What you should not do

The life of a person depends on the timely provision of qualified assistance, while incorrect advice is harmful to health. Due to the contraction of muscle fibers, needles can move around in body tissues. Once in the body, the needle (smooth, sharp and straight) is able to move 10-15 centimeters. Therefore, if you or someone swallowed a needle:

  • Do not make sudden movements, squats and bends, reduce physical activity. With body movements, the needle that has got into the muscles also begins to move and can cause harm with its sharp end. Lie on the bed and wait for the ambulance to arrive.
  • Do not induce vomiting. The needle will no longer come out, but it can damage the insides.
  • Do not shake your head, do not take big sips. If the needle is stuck in the throat, an ambulance worker will pull it out like a fish bone.
  • Do not knock in the chest, do not crush the abdomen, all this will lead to even more injury.
  • You can not use a laxative.
  • If a small child swallows a needle, do not turn it over or shake it.

How to determine if a child has swallowed a needle: symptoms

It is impossible to predict the actions of children. Toddlers pull to their mouths various objects that they liked, learning new and unexplored, including sharp ones, such as a needle. Not always parents have time to keep track of the baby, and he will not be able to tell what happened to him. How to understand that a child swallowed a needle and how to act in a similar situation? Symptoms that you can learn about the needle inside the child:

  • Active salivation.
  • The appearance of anxiety in the baby. The child stopped playing, refuses food, something hurts him, it hurts to swallow.
  • The appearance of cough, symptoms of suffocation, nausea, the baby does not have enough air.
  • Redness on the face.
  • Heart rate and sweating.
  • Temperature increase.

What happens if you swallow a needle – consequences

It is impossible to accurately predict the consequences after swallowing the needle. But there are several scenarios in which events can develop:

  • Itself is considered a terrible and dangerous case when the needle enters the lung or heart, making a hole there. If surgery is not done on time, death is possible. In the lungs (with a delayed operation), inflammation occurs, provoked by a puncture of the needle, which can lead to the loss of part of this organ.
  • It happens that a swallowed needle enters the stomach. Then 80% of the victims have a chance that it will come out naturally with feces. The remaining 20% โ€‹โ€‹of patients have to undergo surgery to remove the needle from the body. It rarely happens that a needle pierces a stomach or intestine, which is dangerous by infection, peritonitis.
  • Sometimes the needle settles in the soft tissues, while a person sometimes feels aching pain. If you do not remove it in time, the needle will begin to rust, which will lead to inflammatory processes.
  • Often a needle gets stuck in the palate or throat.

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