Fillers A memorable patient

A plastic plug resurfaces

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7272.1335 (Published 25 November 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1335
  1. Jonathan Newbury, lecturer in general practice
  1. Adelaide University, Australia

    In 1984 an 8 year old boy was rushed into our general practice from school with a sudden onset of a violent cough. His teacher had noticed him chewing his ballpoint pen immediately before the coughing spasm. He denied that he had inhaled a piece of the pen. His distress was so marked that she called an ambulance. I initially treated him with nebulised salbutamol which partly relieved his cough. He had no history of asthma and I was perplexed at what had caused this coughing spasm.When he had calmed down considerably I asked if he had inhaled a part of his pen. He said that he had had the …

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