Now and then a needle breaks off during an operation. As a rule, it is possible to recover the broken portion and remove it; sometimes it cannot be found.
In the case here reported a right tubal pregnancy had been removed. A few months later the patient was hurriedly admitted to the hospital and at once operated on for a rupture of the uterus during early pregnancy.
On account of the patient's alarming condition, quick action was necessary. During closure of the ruptured uterine wall the greater portion of a curved needle broke off and was lost in the wall of the uterus; it could not be located.
It was necessary to get the patient off the table at the earliest possible moment. The tear in the uterine wall was sutured and the abdomen closed.
The subsequent history of the needle is an interesting one.
REPORT OF CASE