We’ve heard of children stuffing peas or pieces of lego up their noses, but a woman lived with a plastic pill packet lodged in her throat for an astonishing 17 days, a medical journal has revealed.
And yes, that might just be the strangest news story of today.
According to a paper published in the BMJ Journals, the Northern Irish woman, who has not been named but is in her 40s, unknowingly swallowed the packet of the painkiller Tramadol in the middle of the night last November.
The following morning, the patient went to A&E complaining of discomfort and having difficulty swallowing.
There she was described by medics as being ‘fit and well’, and the ears, nose and throat team observed she was tolerating fluids, had no airway difficulties and could mobilise her neck.
The pill packet also did not show up on X-rays, so doctors suggested the woman come back if there was no improvement.
Three days later the woman returned to hospital with the same symptoms and was treated with steroids and painkillers for 48 hours until her symptoms improved and was then discharged.
After five days, a barium swallow scan, which examines the upper gastrointestinal tract, was carried out at a hospital, but returned normal results.
It was only during a later outpatient’s appointment, and on her fourth visit to hospital, that the pill packet was detected during an oesophago-gastroduodenoscopy (OGD) scan.
The packet was then safely removed some whopping 17 days after ingestion.
Writing about the unbelievable case, David McCrory said: “She had swallowed her Tramadol tablets whole in the original foil packet which was lodged in the upper oesophagus.
“She underwent rigid oesophagoscopy and removal of foreign body uneventfully (17 days after ingestion of her tablets) and she was discharged after a period of observation.”
The patient was quoted as saying: “I had no idea I swallowed this.
“It was a very frightening three weeks and I couldn’t believe when I saw the picture.”
In a similarly terrifying medical case, last year we reported that a woman almost lost her eye sight after doctors found calcified bumps under eyelids caused by not removing her mascara properly for 25 years.
After seeking medical advice for eye irritation, discharge and an uncomfortable sensation beneath her eyelids, the mum-of-two was horrified when doctors discovered the bumps, known as concretions, under her eyelids had almost blinded her.
So tonight before bed you might want to clear your bedside table of pill packets – because, apparently, you can never be too careful.
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