Doctors Failed To Notice Baby Had Chopstick Lodged In His Brain

A baby walked around with a chopstick lodged in his brain for a mind-blowing ten days before it was noticed.

The baby, just a year old, was eating chow mein with his mom and dad in Chaoyang City, China, when the tot tripped and somehow managed to get the chopstick he was eating with stuck up his nose.

His parents removed the chopstick and then rushed him to the hospital for wound treatment and cleaning. Hospital doctors did so, and, without taking any X-rays to determine if the chopstick was fully removed, then sent the baby home, never realizing that the child still had a full six centimeters of chopstick lodged in his brain.

“When we got home after our first visit to the hospital, my husband broke all the chopsticks in half and threw them away as we were worried something like this could happen again,” said the mother, Yu Liao. “But we had no idea there was still one inside of his head.”

But as time went on, the baby began to vomit, and then show signs of lethargy. The alarming symptoms caused his parents to take him to the hospital for a second time. It was during that second trip that doctors finally noticed that the baby had a chopstick penetrating his brain.

“We were beside ourselves with worry,” Liao said.

Li Shaoyi, an attending doctor from Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, explained.

“Half of the chopstick was totally stuck in his head from his nose. They only took out half of the chopstick and the other half was still stuck in it.”

The procedure to remove the remaining piece of chopstick from the baby’s brain was completed on Tuesday, and reports show that the baby has made “significant improvements.” However, he remains hospitalized in order to treat a brain infection caused by the chopstick.

“After removing the remaining six centimeters his condition improved immediately, but he does have a brain infection so will be staying in the hospital for further treatment,” Dr. Li Shaovi said, and added that his brain was not affected beyond the infection. Doctors say that the chopstick was actually lodged in a non-functional section of the brain.

“It did not affect him much. His body move or language ability was all functional. That is why his family did not realize. It coincidentally stuck in the non-functional area,” Dr. Li said.

Brain injuries can cause life-altering changes, such as in the case of a woman whose injuries turned her into a “sex-crazed dominatrix,” eventually netting herself more than a million dollars in damages. For more on that story, click here. Or read about the man who woke up from a coma able to speak Chinese here.

[Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images]