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Chinese doctors find 1kg of human hair in the stomach of young girl seeking attention from parents

By Leanne Baldelovar Published Aug 25, 2022 3:24 pm

A doctor in China discovered a kilogram of hairball in a child's stomach after she swallowed human hair to get her parents' attention.

According to a Lizhi News report that was later spotted by South China Morning Post (SCMP), the nine-year-old girl experienced nausea and vomiting, prompting her to be taken to a local hospital in Jiangsu province.

Due to the girl's young age and narrow esophagus, the hairball removal procedure took ten hours, according to Zhao Chengguang, the gastroenterologist in charge of the child's case.   

"The hair was mixed with food and gastric juice inside the stomach and had formed a globular shape," Zhao said. 

The doctors also discovered that the girl was swallowing hair to get her parents' attention. "We advised her parents that it would be better to provide her with psychological treatment to prevent it," Zhao said.

Doctors diagnosed the girl with Pica which, according to Cleveland Clinic, is a mental health condition where a person compulsively swallows non-food items. The disease is common among children. pregnant women, and people with mental health conditions, especially autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities, or schizophrenia. 

According to Zhao, the associated behavior is usually targeted at attracting attention to the sufferer.  

SCMP reported that the same situation occurred in the Zhejiang province in December 2020, when a one-kilogram hairball was discovered in a 14-year-old girl , as a result of her parents' lack of attention following the birth of her sibling. 

Earlier this month, a five-year-old girl from Guangdong developed a fascination with eating hair and was forced to stop by her parents.