Vietnamese man has chopstick removed from brain

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An X-ray shows the head of N.C.B., 19, with a chopstick piercing his right eye socket and brain. Photo courtesy of Cho Ray Hospital 

Doctors at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City have surgically removed a chopstick which had pierced a city man's right eye socket and his brain.

His family said N.C.B., 19, a District 11 resident, had gone out for some drinks with his friends on the night of July 22, and one of them stabbed him through the eye with a plastic chopstick over a quarrel.

He went to a nearby hospital and was treated for swelling around his eye and discharged.

On July 25, B. had severe headache and his right eye ached and his vision went blurry so he went to Cho Ray Hospital for treatment, they said.

There, an X-ray test showed that a piece of the chopstick more than 10 centimeters long had been lodged in his brain and had damaged its blood vessels.

The doctors at the hospital's Neurological Surgery Department removed the chopstick after a four-hour surgery on Wednesday.

Dr. Nguyen Kim Chung, deputy head of the Neurological Surgery Department, said Thursday the chopstick only left a small swelling on B.'s right eye socket. But he said the injury inside could cause a brain abscess and pose high risk of death if he were not treated within a week after being stabbed.

B. has recovered but the chopstick also penetrated his optic nerves, causing his right eye to go blind.

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In August last year, doctors at Chung's department also removed a long piece of iron piercing the brain of a 10-month-old girl, who hailing from the Mekong Delta Province of Ben Tre.

The iron piece, flying from a lawnmower used by a neighbor, had pierced her forehead and hurt her cerebral cortex and brain tissues.   

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