Toddler recovering after chopstick pierces brain

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BEIJING (AP) — A 14-month-old boy in China is recovering after doctors removed a chopstick from his brain that accidentally poked up through his nose, a spokesman for the local hospital said Thursday.

The toddler, Li Jingchao, from the eastern province of Shandong, is undergoing treatment at Bo Ai Hospital in Beijing for an infection caused by the life-threatening impalement, spokesman Chen Yawei said.

Li was playing with chopsticks while his mother was in the kitchen washing dishes when he fell and began crying when a chopstick pierced into his nose, Chen said.

Because local hospitals did not have the technology to safely remove the chopstick, Li’s parents traveled 10 hours north by car to Beijing on Dec. 26 immediately after the accident, Chen said.

The boy arrived with a high fever and an irregular heartbeat, according to a report released by the hospital.

Neurosurgeons at the hospital were concerned the removal of the chopstick, which was lodged 4 millimeters into Li’s brain, would cause internal hemorrhaging once removed — possibly causing paralysis or even death, Chen said.

“Luckily, the removal resulted in little bleeding and he suffered only an infection,” Chen said.

Chen said Li’s neurosurgeon was perfect for the job since he had extensive experience with surgeries involving chopsticks lodged in eyes, foreheads and necks.

Li is expected to be released from the hospital in about a week, Chen said.