Baby Needs Surgery After Swallowing Expanding Ball

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 4:42am
Chandani Patel, M.D.

Little kids have been in the news for swallowing magnetic "Bucky Balls" and detergent pods. And now there's a case report of an 8-month-old baby girl named Aunraya, who was brought to Texas Children's Hospital because she swallowed a new toy: a superabsorbent polymer ball.

Her great grandmother and legal guardian, Freida Deweese, thought Aunraya had swallowed a "piece of candy." But it was actually a Water Balz toy, which starts out the size of a marble and is advertised to grow to 400 times its original size when put in water.

This little girl swallowed it, it absorbed moisture inside her, and it completely blocked her digestive system so that nothing could get through.

She was vomiting bile, had a distended belly, and severe painful constipation by the time she went to the operating room. Her X-ray shows that many loops of her digestive tract are far wider than normal.

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