Doctors find a sea snail living in child’s elbow wound

Image capture of video via Preethi Poduval's YouTube account
  • Doctors found a hard object in the wound of a boy
  • After a closer look his doctor discovered a sea snail
  • It was identified as a  periwinkle marine snail

When an 11-year-old boy cut his elbow after slipping in a Southern California tidepool, his parents patched him up. But after they found out that the wound appeared to be getting worse, they took him to the hospital.

That is when pediatricians at the hospital made an unusual discovery.

According to Dr. Albert Khait, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Loma Linda University in Los Angeles, he and his colleagues followed regular procedures for treating such wounds by lancing and draining abscess, and it was then they discovered a hard object.

After having a closer look his doctor discovered a sea snail. It was identified as a checkered periwinkle marine snail.

“First, I thought it was a small blood clot inside the abscess or perhaps interesting sebaceous material. But as I cleaned it off and felt the stone-like texture, noticed the swirl, I knew it could only be a snail,” said Dr. Khait via Newsweek.

“I think everyone was surprised, but myself and my young patient were simply excited. I said, ‘You have a snail.’ And he said, ‘Cool!’” he added.

Doctors believe a snail egg became embedded in the wound when the boy fell in the tidepool.

A week after the boy had the snail removed, his family reported he had a full recovery. If he hadn’t had his wound checked out, he likely could have contracted a serious bacterial infection.