Multiple Foreign Bodies in a 5-Year Old: Non-Accidental Trauma

Mulewa Mulenga, Patricia Shinondo, Bruce Chikasa Bvulani

University of Zambia University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia

Correspondence to: Dr. Mulewa Mulenga; email:


Foreign bodies, a significant proportion of which are a result of non-accidental trauma, are common but under-reported. Pediatric foreign body injuries can be inconsequential, severe or even fatal, and cause long-lasting morbidity and the need for treatment and hospitalization. Evaluation of injury or death requires elements of detection, pattern recognition, interpretation and comparison, all based on clinical, radiological and forensic experience with normal and abnormal findings. We report an unusual and strange case of non-accidental trauma in a young child who presented to our surgical services with 44 sewing needles and wires in his body. The patient had specific characteristics or risks for abuse. His injuries were evaluated, recognized, documented and reported. He was treated for peritonitis and malnutrition and  the foreign bodies removed using staged operations under image guidance. Patient’s recovery was uneventful.

Keywords: Multiple foreign bodies, Trauma

Ann Afr Surg. 2020;17(3):137–141


Conflicts of Interest: None

Funding: None

© 2020 Author. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Submitted: 7 July 2019

Revised: 27 December 2019

Accepted: 13 February 2020

Online first: 29 May 2020


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


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