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Since 1st March, 1999
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He breathes easy again

A nine-year-old boy with a pen cap stuck in his lungs for a month breathed easy again on Thursday, after a team of ENT surgeons at SSKM Hospital took out the object. “The cap was lodged in the right lung. Had it been a there for a few more days, the boy might have died,” said a doctor.

Before being shifted to SSKM, Gopal Roy was taken to two other state-run hospitals, but the doctors there failed to provide him any relief. The Basirhat resident was playing with his friends in school when he accidentally swallowed the pen cap. “He immediately collapsed and started having respiratory problems,” said mother Kamini. Gopal’s father Biswanath is a blacksmith.

The couple took their only son to a local health centre, from where the boy was referred to NRS Medical College and Hospital. A CT scan revealed that the pen cap — around two centimetres in diameter — was stuck in the right lung.

“My son was in the hospital for 12 days but there was no improvement in his condition,” said his mother. According to hospital sources, the doctors tried to bring out the object through broncoscopy — an endoscopy of the bronchus — but did not succeed.

“Doctors told us that they needed to perform an open surgery of the chest but we got scared and got him released by signing a risk bond,” recalled Kamini. Gopal was at home for more than a week, his condition getting worse by the day, before being taken to RG Kar Medical College on December 13. But doctors in the cardio-thoracic department of RG Kar could not make any headway and finally referred him to SSKM Hospital.

Led by Arunabha Sengupta, a team of ENT surgeons at SSKM performed a broncoscopy on the boy and took out the cap. Gopal is now recovering in the hospital. “The cap had blocked the right lung and made it non-functional,” said Debashish Ghosh, a member of the team.

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