Doctors discovered snail growing in boy's elbow

An 11-year-old boy cut up his elbow when he slipped and fell into a tidepool at a local beach. His parents fixed him up but decided to take him to a hospital when the wound began to look worse.

Dr. Albert Khait, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Loma Linda University, was surprised to find that a sea snail had hatched inside a skin abscess in the elbow wound and was still alive.

Khait published the case in the medical journal BMJ Cases:

“The unique characteristics of this intertidal mollusk appear to have enabled it to survive in the subcutaneous tissue for a week, despite the hostile environment of a skin abscess."

Doctors think the snail egg got stuck in the boy's elbow when he fell in the tidepool. The boy was “visibly excited” over the ordeal, and pediatricians let him take the snail home with him to show his friends.

The snail, identified as a checkered perwinkle marine snail, died just a day after being taken out of the abscess. The boy nicknamed the snail "Turbo" after the Dreamworks Animation movie.

Read more at the Sacramento Bee.

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