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July 3, 1967

Metallic Foreign Bodies, A Method for Removal

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1967;201(1):65. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130010091028

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To the Editor:—  A common visitor to the emergency room is the patient with a pin, needle, or other metallic foreign body embedded in his hand or foot. When the injury is fresh, a wound of entry is apparent and the extraction of the foreign body can be accomplished without too much difficulty.However, when the puncture wound has healed or the foreign body is deeply situated, a more complex situation exists. Under no circumstances should the removal be attempted in the emergency room, where the doctor is literally searching for a needle in a haystack. Hampered by inadequate instruments, poor lighting, and a small incision obscured with blood, the possibility of damaging a neurovascular bundle, tendon, or synovial membrane increases.A technique which has evolved from our experience in the management of foreign bodies in feet and hands includes the following rules:(1) schedule the procedure in the operating