What would happen if you swallowed a needle?

In this brief study, we will answer the question, “what would happen if you swallowed a needle” along with discussing a real-life case study.  Moreover, we will also discuss the ways to handle if a child and a pet swallow a needle.

What would happen if you swallowed a needle?

If you swallow a needle, it can get lodged in the gastrointestinal system, may result in local inflammation, which can result in discomfort, bleeding, or scarring as well as blockage, or it can cause erosion of the digestive tract. The location of foreign body perforation in the gastrointestinal system seems to be variable. Although the ileocecal area has been recognized as the most often perforated region as a result of foreign body ingestion, the duodenum has been identified as the most frequently perforated location. Because of the potential of severe consequences, ingestion of foreign bodies necessitates cautious and ongoing monitoring.

Is it possible to accidentally swallow a needle?

The majority of the time, this occurs by chance. The risk to too few children is that they are unaware of it and may unintentionally put anything sparkling in their mouths out of curiosity. Adults have accidentally eaten objects with sharp edges. Working while holding tiny, sharp items in your mouth is the most hazardous behavior you can engage in this circumstance, according to experts.

When performing carpentry or furniture repair, men are more likely to swallow tiny nails, screws, or self-tapping screws. Pins and needles may be held between the lips of female seamstresses, allowing them to free up their hands while yet having the little items required for stitching near at reach. They are, without a doubt, in breach of the most basic safety precautions.

A Case Study

A 20-year-old lady was sent to our emergency department after she accidentally swallowed a sewing machine needle while working on her computer. When she came, she was experiencing no stomach discomfort, vomiting, or dysphagia. Uncomplicated abdominal radiography was used to determine the presence of a needle in the upper abdomen (PAR).

A fiber-rich diet was recommended, and daily outpatient follow-up with PAR’s was scheduled for the patient. It was discovered on days 3 and 7 that the needle had reached the terminal ileum and transverse colon, respectively, based on the PARs obtained on those days. On day 10, however, the PAR scan revealed that the needle had moved into the thoracic cavity. She had no indications or symptoms of peritonitis.

A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed that the needle had been inserted into the lower lobe of the left lung, which had been unexpectedly discovered. Furthermore, there was no evidence of intestinal contrast leaking during the CT scan. As a result, a thoracotomy was performed in an emergency. A combination of fluoroscopy and finger palpation was utilized throughout the procedure to verify that the needle was placed precisely, and the needle was withdrawn after pneumonectomy. The patient was discharged on day five.

If a child swallows a needle

About half of the time, the X-ray does not detect the needle within the kid. If you have reason to believe the kid has eaten something sharp, it is preferable to be seen as an alarmist rather than wasting valuable time.

Even though it will be tough, you will need to show not just calmness, but also comfort to the infant. For him to remain calm, he must also refrain from hurriedly jumping or engaging in indulgent behavior. Meanwhile, you may read a book to your kid or inquire where the doctor should take your little patient – this may help to expedite the process while you wait for the doctor. 

If a pet swallows a needle

If the needle is lying on the floor, the animal may pick it up and begin to play with the thread, injuring itself with a painful sharp item as a result. Outside the home, domestic dogs may fall prey to dog hunters, who may toss not poisoned meat, but minced meat laced with needles, at them.

If a dog or cat ingests a needle, the poor animal will be unable to tell you what has happened to it. If the animal’s esophagus is damaged, it may swallow uncomfortably, increasing the likelihood of further harm to the animal. At the first sign of suspicion, take your pet to the veterinarian. An X-ray will help in identifying the problem and recommending an appropriate treatment – surgery or, as in the case of humans, a specific diet to ensure the needle comes out naturally.


In this brief study, we answered the question, “what would happen if you swallowed a needle” along with discussing a real-life case study. Moreover, we also discussed the ways to handle if a child and a pet swallow a needle.

If you’ve enjoyed ”What would happen if you swallowed a needle?”, take a look at ”What would happen if you swallowed a toothpick?” too.



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