Girl with bad cough had toothpaste lid in throat for weeks

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She was in-tube-ated.

Doctors in Paraguay were flabbergasted after discovering that a 7-year-old girl’s nasty cough was caused by a toothpaste lid that had been lodged in her throat for weeks.

A post describing her brush with disaster is currently blowing up on Facebook.

“A 7-year-old girl, from Encarnación, was saved thanks to timely medical intervention after she arrived in the hospital with a chronic cough lasting 20 days,” the Hospital Regional de Encarnación in Encarnación wrote in a translated Facebook post alongside photos of the esophageal interloper, Newsweek reported.

The unnamed tot had reportedly been experiencing a constant tickle in her throat for approximately three weeks. Her parents reportedly took her to the hospital, but doctors couldn’t pinpoint the cause of her discomfort.


An X-ray showing the toothpaste lid in the girl's throat.
An X-ray showed the toothpaste lid in the girl’s throat.
Jam Press

“Firstly, the diagnosis was unknown because the mother consulted medics about a cough,” explained Encarnación hospital director Dr. Walter Benítez.

He added that the girl saw almost zero improvements after being prescribed medication.

Hoping to get to the root, the tyke was transported to a medical facility, where doctors performed an X-ray to rule out bronchitis or pneumonia.

That’s when they found the cause of her scratchy throat: A “foreign” object that was trapped in her airway, per Benítez.


The toothpaste tube lid post-removal.
“Through an X-ray, a foreign object was found in the airway and a bronchoscopy was performed,” Dr. Walter Benítez, director at the Encarnación Regional Hospital in Encarnación City, Paraguay.
Jam Press

Doctors subsequently anesthetized the patient and performed a bronchoscopy, an operation to examine her lungs and airways using a thin tube, which revealed that the interloper was the cap to a toothpaste tube.

“With a device called a fiberoptic bronchoscope, we observed what appeared to be a toothpaste lid,” said Benítez, adding that she likely swallowed it the same day her cough started.

Thankfully, “using the same device, the foreign object was successfully extracted,” he explained.

He added that the girl is reportedly recovering well following the operation.


A closeup of the toothpaste tub lid.
A closeup of the toothpaste tub lid.
Jam Press

This isn’t the first time someone has been imperiled by a purported “deep cleaning.”

In 2020, an Indian man’s teeth-cleaning routine went horribly awry after he accidentally swallowed a brush and had to have it surgically removed.

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