All the blogs have been posting the x-rays of the Chinese man who swallowed a pair of scissors
. He was using them to clean his teeth. But here at Weird Universe we don't like doing what everyone else is doing. So instead, I present you with a similar case, from 1919, of an Irish woman who swallowed a fork, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
This Irish girl, a domestic servant, aged 25, had been in England only a week when this happened, last Christmas Day. She had recently lost most of her upper teeth, and had not yet had a plate put in, so her powers of mastication were very poor. After eating a portion of giblets she was seized with a violent feeling of indigestion and she vomited, and the undigested portion came up and stuck in her throat, leading to some dyspnoea. She therefore hastily seized the nearest object, which was this fork, and, holding it by the prongs, she pushed the handle behind her tongue and down her throat. She succeeded in moving the piece of meat and withdrew the fork, but as she felt it was still sticking in her gullet, she proceeded to try the same moneouvre a second time, and this time she got the fork, according to her own description, a long way down. Then, to her surprise, the handle of the fork was seized by an "unseen power" -- probably the constrictor muscles -- and having only a slimy hold on the fork, she lost grip of it and it went down. She went to the hospital on Christmas afternoon, where her story was received with diffidence.
Unfortunately, the X-ray department was not working on that day, and it was two days before a plate could be got to prove that she had swallowed a fork. The plate shows the fork in the stomach, with the handle resting near the pylorus, and the prongs towards the cardia. I operated upon her fifty-four hours after she swallowed the fork, making a small incisiion in the epigastric region to the right of the mid-line, and making a ¾ in. incision in the anterior wall of the stomach, near the pylorus, I seized the prongs of the fork and extracted it. The stomach had made an attempt to pass it on: the handle was in the duodenum, and the hilt of the fork in the pylorus, the prongs in the stomach. Suture was done in the ordinary way, and she made a very successful recovery, going out in a fortnight. Later she said she felt no ill-effects and had no indigestion.
Category: Medicine | Surgery