Dr. Saad Saad is a highly skilled surgeon focusing on pediatric surgery. His more than 40 years of surgical practice has provided him with endless challenges, but one of his greatest challenges was removing foreign objects from the wind pipe and food pipe of children. He has successfully treated more than 1,000 children removing food and other objects from children, some as young as six months old.
Children are prone to swallowing almost anything they can get into their hands and then into their mouth. It is more about curiosity than anything else. Sometimes, the object swallowed will get stuck in the wind pipe or food pipe. Signs of such an object becoming stuck include trouble with swallowing or breathing and wheezing. If traditional methods of removing the object such as the Heimlich maneuver or holding a child by their feet and patting them on the back, is not necessary, a trip to the local emergency room is warranted.
If you witness a child swallowing an object it is imperative to not try to scoop the object out with your fingers. Doing so may push the object further down and create more problems. An ER X-ray will reveal the location of the object, if it is visible such as a coin, but if it does not and the child is still showing signs of a stuck object, the next step is warranted and that is an esophagoscopy or bronchoscopy.
During his career, Dr. Saad Saad has performed both procedures numerous times and was responsible for inventing an improvement to the endoscope that helped doctors perform the procedure more efficiently. The endoscope is very helpful in locating the object when X-rays are not that helpful. The endoscope has a port that acts as an anti-fog device to help clear up the picture. Dr. Saad replaced the anti-fog port with a suction and irrigation device to remove liquid build-up that is produced within the body, giving the surgeon a better and clearer picture of what is going on.
Dr. Saad has found two objects that children swallow that are extremely dangerous. One is a battery such as AAA or AA size battery, as well as the disk batteries that power cameras, calculators and watches and the like. The second dangerous item is peanuts. Batteries, when swallowed can leak acid that will cause serious burns and the associated injuries. When a peanut is swallowed whole and is lodged in the windpipe, the liquid from the lungs will soften the peanut and the item will expand causing more of a blockage.
Dr. Saad Saad cautions parents about not allowing children under the age of two to eat hot dogs. A hot dog will block the windpipe in its entirety. It is wise to not let children under the age of seven eat peanuts. It is also imperative to monitor children while eating at meal and snack time. Playtime items should always be age appropriate as children love to put almost anything into their mouths.
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