Girl, 11, lands on sharpened pencil and punctures her neck while playing at school

The pencil 'breached the platysma muscle', an injury that can potentially 'cause harm to the airway, digestive, and neurovascular systems'

Victoria Gagliardo-Silver
New York
Thursday 16 May 2019 18:07
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11-year-old girl goes through surgery for neck injury after falling on a pencil in Toronto

An 11-year-old was taken to a hospital after falling onto the sharp end of a pencil while playing at school, puncturing her neck and cutting off blood flow to her brain.

The pencil “breached the platysma muscle”, an injury that can potentially “cause harm to the airway, digestive, and neurovascular systems.”

But surgeons successfully managed to remove the pencil, in a case detailed in the British Medical Journal because of the rareness of neck wound injuries in children as compared to adults.

A CT scan revealed the sharpened pencil had punctured the Toronto girl's left common carotid artery, completely cutting off blood flow to her brain. The carotid arteries are major blood vessels that supply blood to the brain, face, and neck, as reported by WebMD.

The pencil was removed in an operation led by Dr Graham Roche-Nagle.

During surgery, the patient had her left carotid artery “clamped” and the pencil removed, which was followed by her carotid being “refreshed” and cleaned with a saline solution. The wound was then sutured.

The patient was discharged after two days of an “uneventful” recovery.

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The young patient was placed on a three-month course of blood thinners post-operation and continued with follow-up appointments for three years, in which doctors found the patient healed well and continued to have no abnormalities in follow-ups.

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