Doctors in India pulled a live cockroach from the skull of a 42yr old domestic helper named Selvi after she woke up in the middle of the night with a “crawling sensation” in her right nostril which became a “burning” feeling in her head.
Selvi, from Injambakkam, India, who did not want to give her full name, said:
“My immediate reaction after feeling that crawling sensation in the right nostril was to brush it off in half sleep. But before I could do anything, it went inside. I could not explain the feeling but I was sure it was some insect.
“There was a tingling and crawling sensation. Whenever it moved, it gave me a burning sensation in my eyes. I spent the entire night in discomfort, sitting up and waiting for dawn to go to Stanley hospital after getting the reference of a doctor from my employer.”
The next morning, Selvi and her son headed to the nearest clinic where medics could find nothing wrong.
The next day she went to state-run Stanley Medical College Hospital, in Chennai, where doctors found the live roach. Baffled medics used a nasal endoscopy to find the insect “sitting in the skull base between her eyes”.
They were forced to used clamps and a sucker to get it out, but miraculously the bug was still alive.
Doctors said if Selvi had ignored the scratchy sensation, the insect would have died, causing an infection close to her brain. Dr M N Shankar, head of the ENT department at the hospital, said:
“This is the first such case I have seen in my three decades of practice. It was sitting in the skull base, between the two eyes, close to the brain.
“If left inside, it would have died before long and the patient would have developed infection which would have spread to the brain.
“It was difficult to remove it because of the place it was sitting in. I had to first drag it to a place from where I could pull it out. It was finally removed after 45 minutes.”
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