Chest injuries are always serious, and in a strange turn of events there are six such cases where a penetrating chest wound was caused by a knitting or crochet needle. This is more common than you thought injury is a thing for a couple of reasons, 1. Self defense against muggings and rape and 2. Accidents. This second one is the one we will discuss today.
An 89-year-old spinster who lived alone in a council bed-sit was found lying on the floor, complaining of chest pain. She was transferred to the casualty department and on examination, a sharp metal object 1 cm in length was found to be protruding below her left scapula. She was also observed to be coughing up blood. A chest X-ray revealed a diagonally placed knitting needle entering between the left ninth and tenth ribs, passing under the arch of the aorta to the apex of the right hemithorax. A left thoracotomy for removal of the knitting needle was performed successfully. Post-opcratively her progress was good, but she died suddenly two weeks later. The deceased was a slightly built, elderly woman. Examination revealed that the thoracotomy procedure for removal of the knitting needle had been successful, and that the cause of death was congestive cardiac failure due to degenerative heart disease; the year was 1980, I’m not sure at which point they have become able to prove, see, or treat degenerative heart disease but I feel as though if they were in there doing things.they should have seen this; after all microscopic surgery wasn’t a thing as of yet.… Needless to say, “it is difficult to understand how the deceased could have fallen on a knitting needle” the doctor wrote in his post op notes.…but we’ve been here before and we know these things happen and it isn’t that surprising to us. However, the doctors believe in this case it is suspected, but not proven, that she fell on to her knitting basket, where she stored her needles in a vertical position.