Weird But True

Teen gets quarter stuck in throat during ill-advised stunt — even doctors were shocked 

This illustrated the perils of putting one’s money where their mouth is.

Another day, another unlikely item ended up in a poorly chosen orifice. This time, a California teen had to be hospitalized after swallowing a quarter, which wound up getting stuck sideways inside his air passage like a coin in a slot machine.

The unnamed 14-year-old reported to the hospital complaining of “hoarseness” and swallowing problems six hours after accidentally consuming a 25-cent piece, according to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A California teen had to be hospitalized after swallowing a coin, which wound up getting stuck sideways inside his air passage. THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
The coin was lodged vertically between the boy’s trachea and vocal cords like a coin in a slot machine. THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
Doctors were able to sedate the boy and remove the quarter with forceps. United states mint

However, doctors were perplexed as the human piggy bank didn’t display any breathing problems normally associated with ingesting coins.

Hoping to get to the root of the issue, they X-rayed his chest, which showed that the quarter was “situated vertically within the subglottis” (the area between the vocal cords and the trachea), which allowed air to pass through despite causing him discomfort.

Accompanying photos and video show the quarter lodged upright in this region.

The boy was fortunate since in most cases of accidental aspiration, foreign objects lodge themselves in the trachea or other parts of the throat, potentially jeopardizing the patient’s breathing.

“Airway foreign bodies — especially those in the trachea and larynx — necessitate immediate removal to reduce the risk of respiratory compromise,” doctors wrote.

A view of the boy’s throat post-op. THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE

Doctors put the boy under general anesthesia to perform a bronchoscopy, an operation that involves probing the airways with flexible forceps. That allowed them to extract the coin with minimal damage to the air canal.

After getting his money back, the “patient’s symptoms abated and he was discharged home,” People reported.

According to Harvard Health, coins are the most common inedible objects swallowed by children, accounting for more than 60% of cases in which children sought medical care after aspirating a foreign object.

In October, a Dallas bus driver was hailed a “hero” after saving the life of a 7-year-old boy who swallowed a quarter.