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

Qualicum Beach approves Pheasant Glen zoning amendment

Majority of residents who spoke at public hearing endorsed proposed amendment bylaw

Centre withdraws from cell tower project in Qualicum Beach

TELUS plans to continue to look at plans to improve cellphone reception in the area

Qualicum Beach council voices support for Ballenas track upgrade

Town still not ready to provide dollar amount without further information

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in a ditch in Coombs

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

RDN budget includes unexpected $1.5 million for sewer pipe replacement

Pipe corrosion at Departure Bay discovered in December

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Suspect steals seaplane, crashes into another in Vancouver habour

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Most Read