By CBSBoston.com Staff

EXETER, NH (CBS) – A small piece of glass caused a big health scare for a young New Hampshire girl. The doctor who helped save six-year-old Alaina Harrington’s life says it’s remarkable how a tiny shard of glass could have been deadly, saying it’s a prime example for parents to always trust their gut instincts.

“It just blows my mind,” said Maeghan Silvestri, Alaina’s mother.

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A tiny shard of glass less than one-inch long could have been devastating for six-year-old Alaina had it not been for her mother, who’s also a nurse.

Piece of glass removed from Alaina Harrington’s chest (WBZ-TV)

It was the evening of March 14 as the family was preparing dinner when Alaina accidentally broke a glass.

“Instead of dropping the glass, she caught it and pulled it into her chest,” Silvestri explained.

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She had a small cut on her chest, but nothing too alarming until she told her mother it felt “funny” when she breathed.

Alaina Harrington (WBZ-TV)

Despite fears of looking like an overprotective mother, Silvestri took her daughter to the emergency room at Exeter Hospital. X-rays showed the glass pierced through Alaina’s lung, causing a partial collapse.

“I could feel that there was a little bit of what we call crepitus,” Dr. Derek Trapasso said. “It’s when air leaks underneath the skin, so the skin almost feels like Rice Krispies.”

Alaina was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for surgery to remove the glass. Dr. Trapasso said the quick action likely saved her life.

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“I think it’s crazy. She could have dropped this glass probably 1,000 more times and this would have never happened again,” Dr. Trapasso said.

CBSBoston.com Staff