A stitch in time: unrecognized retained foreign bodies after a needlefish injury

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Abstract

We present a case report of a traveller injured by a needlefish in the Caribbean. The needlefish leapt from the ocean and struck the traveller’s face at high speed, causing a seemingly superficial puncture wound on his nose. Later, it became apparent that multiple fish bones had broken off and lodged in his nasal cavity, very narrowly missing his cribriform plate. Some bones were discharged spontaneously through his nose over the next 3 months, and one required surgical removal. Our report highlights the importance of urgent radiological examination in patients injured by needlefish, even if the external wound appears insignificant.

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