A 32-year-old woman attended Connolly Hospital Emergency department in Dublin with 19 sewing needles lodged in her body - including two which had penetrated her heart.
The lady told doctors that she had inserted ‘a sewing needle’into her chest, but an X-Ray discovered that she had in fact a total of 19 needles in her abdomen and chest.
She underwent surgery that same day and was found to have lodged the needles herself in an attempt to deal with anxiety brought on by paranoid delusions.
The report was published in the Irish Medical Journal, with doctors saying that: “Even though a foreign body is only partially inserted into the heart, it can become completely embedded in the wall due to strong cardiac contractions.”
The woman was found to have a diagnosis of Schizophrenia and was linked with Psychiatry services for further management.
Self-inflicted needle injuries are seen mainly in young and middle-aged adults suffering from psychiatric disorders, commonly depression, schizophrenia and substance use disorders.