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Girl, 3, Survives Close Call With Toy Scalpel

Sun., Feb. 4, 1996

A 3-year-old girl nearly was killed by a plastic toy scalpel that she accidentally jammed into the back of her mouth, doctors said.

Lynn Duran said her daughter had been playing doctor Friday with a toy kit she got for Christmas. Then she began using the scalpel as a microphone and was dancing and singing when she bumped into some furniture.

The round-pointed scalpel plunged through the lining of Sierra Duran’s palate into soft muscle tissue and barely missed the carotid artery, said Dr. Donald Coldwell.

If it had punctured the artery, which supplies blood to the brain, “she could have bled like mad,” Coldwell said.

Surgeons removed the scalpel and kept the girl overnight for observation.

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