Many a time our children have a reflex action of putting everything they touch into the mouth. Depending on the object’s size, it might succeed or fail to enter a kid’s mouth. The worst case scenario is when the material passes the kid’s mouth but gets stuck right in the windpipe or the food pipe. Dr. Saad Saad is a retired pediatric surgeon who has helped over 1000 children in his career to get stuck foreign material from their tracheas and esophagus. He has over forty years of experience in this job in the United States and Saudi Arabia. He is one of the United States Certified pediatric surgeons who even at one time served as the personal pediatric surgeon for the royal family of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Saad says that common signs of stuck materials in the system include trouble swallowing, wheezing and difficulties while breathing. Smaller objects will get stuck in the windpipe while bigger ones might often get stuck in the food pipe. For children who are less than six years, holding them by the legs upside down and tapping their backs might make the foreign material to fall off. For older children, they might require thrusting my hands into their abdomen to provoke them to cough the object out using the air being forced out of the lungs. Still, all this might fail to work, and hence surgery remains the viable solution to save the child.
At the hospital, if the stuck object is not known, then an x-ray can be conducted to see what is stuck. If the trapped material is not visible by x-ray, then an endoscopy to look inside the patient’s tracts will be necessary. Dr. Saad improved endoscopies by adding a suction device at the end. This meant that surgeons would not have to pull out the endoscope to remove liquids blocking their lenses. This allowed the endoscope remained in the patient’s body the whole time to save on time.
From his expertise, Dr. Saad has named peanut and batteries among some of the most harmful foreign materials that are commonly swallowed. Peanuts mostly get stuck in the windpipe due to their small size, and while trying to get a hold of them, they can break into particles and fall further into the lungs. Batteries, on the other hand, can leak the acid inside them while stuck and cause severe burns in the food canal. Dr. Saad has a showcase of some of the foreign materials he has removed in his career like coins to the biggest of them all, a toothbrush. He is a respected person whose exceptional skills and experience in the operation room are genuinely missed in the Medical field.
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