Krystal Pavan’s eight-month-old daughter Kenzie was rushed to the hospital in Victoria last Thursday after eating a caterpillar. She will make a full recovery. (Submitted photo)

B.C. infant receives emergency medical care after eating caterpillar

Eight-month-old child on Vancouver Island taken to hospital for surgery to remove caterpillar parts

A mother in Nanaimo received a scare last Thursday when her eight-month-old daughter ingested a caterpillar and needed emergency medical care.

Krystal Pavan was with her daughter Kenzie and three-year-old son Logan around 9 a.m. May 31 on their sundeck when the infant girl began screaming.

“She was sitting playing with her toys and eating one of her Arrowroot cookies,” said Pavan. “I guess one of the caterpillars must’ve just crawled out in front of her from underneath our patio furniture or something and I didn’t notice and she decided to pop it in her mouth … so when she started screaming I had no idea why.”

It wasn’t until 20 minutes later that Pavan noticed Kenzie had what appeared to be a burn in her mouth and what appeared to be blood blisters inside her cheek, Pavan said. She tried wiping Kenzie’s mouth, but the black remained.

Pavan rushed Kenzie to hospital and one of the nurses told a story about how her daughter had got hold of a caterpillar and similarly had black around her mouth.

“I started thinking to myself, well, I do have caterpillars quite often around my deck, I wonder if that’s what she got a hold of? Sure enough when I mentioned the caterpillar to the doctor, he’s like, ‘That’s exactly what it is. You can see all the little tentacles are fused to the side of her cheek. All the tiny hairs are spines that they have were stuck to her tongue,” Pavan said, adding that other medical staff at the hospital had never seen anything like it before.

Kenzie was taken by ambulance to the pediatric ward at the hospital in Victoria for surgery. Pavan said it required doctors scraping the caterpillar parts off and some of her skin coming with it. Kenzie was in good spirits though and will make a full recovery, according to Pavan.

Pavan suspects the caterpillar was a silver spotted tiger moth common to the area. Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health medical health officer, couldn’t comment specifically, but said occurrences of someone ingesting such a caterpillar are uncommon – usually incidents involve skin exposure.

Generally, Hasselback said if someone were to put such a caterpillar in their mouth, there would be swelling as the area is sensitive.

“It’s mostly the swelling that would be notable along with a stinging sensation,” said Hasselback.

Pavan said she will now ensure there are no caterpillars on her deck.

“I’m definitely being pretty diligent about looking out for them now,” said Pavan.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19

The Surrey school district teachers are slowly rolling out plans for new way of educating

Two people fined for trying to re-sell N95 and surgical masks in Delta

Police confiscated over 5,000 masks and are working with Fraser Health to see them put to good use

Peace Arch News ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read