A teen unknowingly swallowed a sewing pin. It pierced his heart.

Sewing pins in fabric
(Image: © Shutterstock)

The 17-year-old went to the emergency room after experiencing chest pain for three days, according to a report of the case, published July 29 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine. The teen said the pain was sharp, radiated to his back and was worse when lying down or breathing deeply.

The results of an electrocardiogram (EKG), or a test of the heart’s electrical activity, were abnormal, and doctors were concerned the patient had perimyocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle and the surrounding membrane. Lab tests also showed the teen had increased levels of proteins in his blood that can indicate heart injury.

A CT scan of his chest showed there was an “linear metallic foreign” object lodged in his heart, the report said. The object was about 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters) long and was jutting out of the heart’s right ventricle, or the lower right chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the lungs.

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