Abuse suspected as China toddler excretes last nail

16:23, June 18, 2010      

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An 18-month-old Chinese girl who repeatedly excreted nails over the past month must have been fed the objects by one of her caregivers, doctors said Friday after five days of isolation.

Ting Ting (not her real name), excreted a final nail Friday morning and a subsequent X-ray showed no more nails in her body, said Shen Zhijun, a doctor at the Children's Hospital of Yulin City, in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The girl excreted more than 20 nails and five steel pins over the past six weeks, but showed no sign of an ailment and ate and drank as usual.

She continued to excrete nails even though she had been confined to the hospital bed since early May. "This convinced us the nails had not been accidentally swallowed," said hospital president He Bo.

X-rays found new nails in Ting Ting's stomach after every excretion, he said.

"Starting on June 12, we put her under strict isolation and banned even her parents from entering her ward," said Dr. Shen. "Now for the first time in a month, no nail was found in her stomach and the girl appears perfectly healthy."

Shen said he suspected it was a case of intentional injury and had advised hospital authorities to report it to police.

Meanwhile, he said the girl would stay in hospital for another day or two for further observation and on safety grounds.

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