A rubber band grew into a four-year-old girl’s arm after she wore it for so long the band became sealed over with skin and flesh.
The little girl – who goes by the nickname Le Le – was brought into hospital after her parents became concerned about the red ring which had wrapped itself all the way around her arm.
Le Le – who lives in Linquan county in China’s Eastern Anhui Province – was previously taken to see doctors at the beginning of the year by her grandparents after they spotted a red ring on her forearm.
However, the presence of the elastic band was not identified and the condition was instead mistakenly diagnosed as being either an infection or an allergic reaction.
When her condition grew more severe, Le Le’s parent’s made the decision to take her to the Children’s Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, the capital of nearby Zhejiang Province.
Here, she was treated by Doctor Ye Wensong. After examining the young child, Doctor Ye advised the parents how the growth on her arm – which resembled a bangle – was most probably due to an elastic band.
At first, Le Le’s parents couldn’t believe what they were hearing; however they agreed to allow their child to remain at the hospital to receive further analysis and treatment.
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Alarming X-ray scans of Le Le’s right arm showed what seemed to be a foreign body beneath her flesh.
She underwent surgery soon after the scans were taken, and the existence of the elastic band was finally revealed. Le Le had apparently worn the band for some time without her family members noticing.
Surgeons were fortunately able to remove the elastic band from the young girl’s arm and she is now continuing with her recovery process at the Children’s Hospital.
In his two decades working as a medic, Doctor Ye stated he has only ever had one other similar case before.
The medical professional has suggested how the little girl’s grandparents probably missed how she had got hold of an elastic band and looped it around her arm.
Doctor Ye said:
Some elders also like to tie thin red strings around children’s necks, wrists or fingers for good luck, but the practice comes with risks.
Thin strings and elastic bands can easily be concealed in the flaps of the child’s skin.
Some young kids are still too young to talk, and the band goes unnoticed by their guardians.
Parents are being warned not to let their children wear elastic bands as bracelets, with the dangers horrifyingly reflected in this story.
This is sadly not an isolated incident. Back in 2016, the People’s Daily Online reported how a four-year-old boy called Longong had to have an elastic band removed from his wrist after it became embedded in his flesh in a similar way.
Longong, from Chengdu in south west China’s Sichuan province, reportedly may have faced amputation if the band had not been removed.
We at UNILAD wish Le Le and her family all the best as she continues to recover in hospital.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.