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Dandelion Attack Thwarted !

749px-dandelionflowerWe discovered this interesting story on Rocket News 24 this week and thought uour readers would be interested. We humans sometimes get over confident with our wide range of life-improving technologies and stranglehold on much of what Mother Nature has to offer. Walking down the street with a typical homo sapien swagger, we might scoff at the feeble little flowers growing between the cracks of our manmade concrete, feeling sure that we could take them in a fight whenever the need should arise.

However, every once in a while the flowers remind us how deadly they can be, much like they did in China recently. Try not to unconciously touch your ears while reading this story.



One day in China, a young girl aged just one year and four months managed to get a dandelion seed stuck in her ear. There it sat, a ticking floral time bomb nestled in the warm and moist enclosure of the girl’s ear canal, well out of the reach of even the bravest cotton swap or pair of tweezers.

Later on, the girl began to feel an intense discomfort in her ear and would cry incessantly. Her mother checked her out and could see something stuck in there. For two days she tried but couldn’t retrieve whatever it was, and there was no improvement in the girl’s condition. Finally she decided to take her daughter to the hospital.

According to the Beijing Morning News who heard from sources within the Capital Institute of Pediatrics in Beijing, medical staff initially attempted to remove the foreign body from the girl’s ear but it could not be taken out all the way.

dandelion earWith the object partially removed, the little girl was further examined by medical staff who found that the dandelion seed which previously entered her ear had begun to germinate inside her head. They determined the size of the young plant to be 2cm. The ear canal was full of the plant and blood could be seen in parts. It was decided that she needed surgery.
The doctors’ main concern was that the plant may have grown into contact with the brain or vital nerve endings, which would complicate matters significantly. Thankfully, the operation was performed successfully and the flower was able to be removed completely without serious injury. It was reported that the girl recovered from an post-op ear infection caused by the ordeal and is doing fine.

The medical staff of the institute, however, was left a little disturbed by the incident.“We’ve had cases were things like peanuts and beans, even nails, have gotten into the auditory canal of a child,” said the head doctor of the otolaryngology department. However, as one nurse who had worked there for ten years put it, “this was a first.”

So don’t go thinking we humans have the dandelions under our thumb. They’ve heard “momma had a baby…♪” one too many times and are looking for some payback. So stay vigilant, remembering to swab your ears and swab often, but be careful with those Q-Tips or else you’ll damage your eardrum… and then the dandelions will have truly won.

photos by Greg Hume 

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