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Doctors save man choking on live fish that slithered into his mouth


Doctors save man choking on live fish that slithered into his mouth


Sagaya Fernando
Mumbai: 26 April 2020

60-year-old Kadalaparambil Krishnan, suffering from speech impairment since young, has been fishing in the freshwater canal near his house at Edakkazhiyur near the town of Chavakkad in coastal Kerala, India, since childhood. On 21st April, it was like any other day for him after a netting a catch of karimeen (Pearl Spot) fish. While picking the catch from the net, he suddenly collapsed on to the ground. It was gathered later that, while collecting the fishes from the net, he was holding onto the live fish by his teeth while reaching out to gather the other fishes caught in the net, when the fish slipped from his teeth and went deep into his throat.

When people standing in the vicinity rushed to his help, unable to speak he motioned his hands towards his mouth and that’s when they realized that a live fish had slithered deep into his mouth and he was choking on it. Krishnan’s son and son-in-law who were informed about the incident put him on a motorbike and rushed to the nearest hospital at Chavakkad, but the doctors there referred him to a better equipped Amala Institute of Medical Sciences located in Thrissur, about 25 kms away.

“Krishnan was gasping for breath and was in a serious condition when he was brought to our hospital,” informed ENT specialist and Associate Professor Dr Arjun G Menon of Amala Hospital who attended on the patient.

He further added, “There was no time to shift the patient to an operation theatre as he was gasping when he reached our hospital casualty, and so we decided to conduct the extraction of the fish from his throat without any further delay.”

“Luckily for Krishnan, somewhere there was space for air entry hence did not die. The brain is extremely sensitive to the complete lack of oxygen for even 6 to 8 minutes,” said he.

“The extraction procedure lasted less than 10 minutes wherein the entire karimeen fish was pulled out of the patient’s throat and we were able to save Krishnan’s life,” said Dr Menon.

“It is a rare incident, and the timely medical help saved his life,” said he.

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