The removal of sewing needles from two children's hearts

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1984 Dec;32(6):373-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1023426.


Penetrating foreign bodies in the heart comprise a class of serious injuries. The successful removal of sewing needles from the hearts of a 6-week-old baby and a child aged 2 years are presented. The needle had penetrated the left anterior chest wall and had been thrust into the heart in both cases. Determination of the exact location of the foreign body is of utmost importance to the surgeon. A complication attributable to the foreign body may demand immediate surgical intervention. In general, delay in the timing of the operation should be avoided because the foreign body might migrate from the pericardium to the myocardium and cardiac cavities. The surgical approach depends on the location of the foreign body: the median sternotomy being the most frequently employed. With the advent and refinement of the techniques of cardiopulmonary bypass and myocardial preservation this approach renders the removal of even small fragments a straight forward procedure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery*
  • Heart* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Radiography