Diary - Safety sticking point

22nd January 2010 at 00:00

The health and safety tsars might get on our nerves, but a recent incident in China shows that you can never be too careful.

A 14-month-old toddler was playing at home in the eastern Shandong province when he fell over, allowing a stray chopstick to go up his nose and lodge in his brain.

His parents had to do a 10-hour drive to a Beijing hospital after local doctors said they lacked the correct equipment to remove it.

Neurosurgeons found that the chopstick was lodged four millimetres into Li's brain, but pulling it would cause too much internal bleeding. "We were prepared to cut open his head immediately to stop the bleeding from his brain if blood spurted from his nose just when the chopstick was pulled out," they said.

The operation was successful. Li is now being treated with an anti-inflammatory drug and should be able to leave hospital soon.

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