Child swallows pin-tack, Waikato surgeons remove it from lung

19:25, Feb 11 2014
INHALED: An x-ray shows the tack in the lung.

Surgeons at Waikato Hospital have pulled a nail-like pin out of a child's lung after he accidentally swallowed it while playing with his sister.

The incident has sparked a warning from the boy's mother about what is a relatively common yet dangerous occurrence.

The mother, who wants to remain anonymous, said the Maketu boy was playing outside with his little sister about 3.30pm on Monday.

He had a 2cm pin tack, such as those used on notice boards, which he put to his lips and swallowed accidently. It lodged in his throat, blocking his airway.

First on the scene was the Maketu Volunteer Fire Brigade who stabilised him until the ambulance arrived.

He was transferred to Tauranga Hospital where doctors pushed the tack down and cleared his airway.


Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter pilot Dan Harcourt said they flew the boy in to Waikato Hospital late on Monday night in a serious condition.

He underwent an hour-long operation to remove the tack from his lung. His mother described it as "very scary".

She warned parents to talk with their children about the dangers of putting small objects in their mouths.

Waikato Hospital spokeswoman Mary Anne Gill said such scenarios were relatively common.

Waikato Times