Idris and the hidden peanut!
Have you ever seen those ‘grabbing machines’ at the fairground? The ones where you see dad trying his best to reach for a fluffy toy? Well Alder Hey Children’s Hospital put its own grabbing device into practice recently when a little boy had a peanut stuck in his lung and caused him serious difficulty.
When energetic toddler Idris found a hidden bag of peanuts, mum Elizabeth was busy looking after his baby brother. She took the bag from him but couldn’t be sure how many Idris had managed to eat before he was spotted.
Idris went on to play in their family farm in Wales. Like all young boys, Idris likes to climb. At one point he stood still and his mum noticed him struggling; he’d begun choking. Alone in the house with the children, she patted him on the back and when the blockage wouldn’t clear, Elizabeth managed to put her finger down Idris’ throat to dislodge the mass of peanuts that were obstructing his airway.
Elizabeth was relieved as Idris began breathing although later noticed he was wheezing and she contacted NHS Direct. Following a GP appointment and a trip to the local hospital, they were sent back home.
Mum still felt something wasn’t right so dad drove them to a different hospital. Medics said it looked like Idris had an infection but again mum’s instinct kicked in and a second look at the x-ray of his lungs highlighted something was definitely there: a peanut! A consultant contacted Alder Hey’s Professor Kevin Southern and he advised they bring Idris to Alder Hey.
Professor Southern said: “Peanuts are very adept at slipping down into the lungs, please be careful at family parties and around the home to make sure there are no bowls at the height that young children can reach or best of all, resist the temptation to have any nuts in the house until your children are in junior school!”
Idris was put on the emergency list in theatre where they managed to remove the peanut with a ‘grabber’ piece of equipment, just like the ones at the fairground – but a lot smaller!
Professor Kevin Southern says: “The procedure was done under general anaesthesia. This allowed us to put a camera right down into the lungs from the throat. We were able to locate the blockage and saw the peanut had been lodged in the airway of the left lung. We used the ‘grabber’ basket to grasp and remove the peanut.”
By this time, the peanut had been in Idris’ lungs for a few days, and it brought on pneumonia so doctors prescribed intravenous antibiotics followed by a course of oral antibiotics to help clear the infection. Idris has made a great recovery after his close encounter with a peanut.
Elizabeth explains: “We’ve found everyone who has helped us at Alder Hey to be first class. We couldn’t have been in better place and feel lucky that we were listened to and put into Professor Southern’s care. Thanks to Alder Hey Idris is back on the farm causing mischief.”