Snail on toddler's nose (illustrative)
Snail on toddler's nose (illustrative)iStock

Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera's toddler emergency room received a three-year-old this week with a snail lodged in his nasal passage.

The mother told the medical staff that her son approached to inform them that he had introduced the mollusk into his nose. After the parents tried unsuccessfully to remove it, they arrived at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center.

Doctors of Nose, Throat, and Neck Surgery extracted the snail, which was lodged deep in the right nostril, using fine instruments and delicate sensitivity, before the child inhaled, potentially causing actual damage.

"The toddler came to the emergency room upset and we couldn't get the snail out in the clinic, so we had to rush him to the operating room, where we removed the snail in its entirety, under general anesthesia," noted unit physician Dr. Or Dagan, who treated the toddler.

Unit director Dr. Yitzchak Braverman commented: "If the snail had gone deeper, it could have caused bleeding, pain, and infection. Inhalation of tiny foreign bodies in children can be fatal because there's the possibility of airway obstruction and suffocation."

Braverman added that signs possibly indicating a foreign body present in the nasal cavity are: bleeding from the nose, foul-smelling nasal discharge or alternatively, if the child complains of pain consistently.

The toddler was released a day later to his home safe and sound and he, together with his parents, promised to release the snail to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Toddler holds snail extracted from his nose
Toddler holds snail extracted from his noseHillel Yaffe Hospital