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A man swallowed a toothpick, Here's what happened next

  • Toothpicks. They are great for making sandwiches at parties look more enticing and removing food particles from your teeth after a meal... But what happens if you accidently swallow one? While many people see them as harmless things, one person found out the hard way what happens if you accidently swallow one.

    A 37 year old man, named Brian, who we will call "Patient Bri", is presenting to the emergency room with abdominal pains, pains for which he had been experiencing for the last 2 months, that got worse over time.  When questioned about when and where the pain started, he stated that late one night while talking to a girl, he got a bit hungry and needed something to snack on, even though he was a bit sleepy, so he found a sandwich in his fridge, without thinking, he ate it. The following day, He began to experience mild abdominal pains. Over the next 2 months, the pain got worse until it got so bad, he found it very painful to walk and had to be escorted to the ER by a family member.

    Originally, X-Ray scans showed nothing that could be causing the issues but immediately afterwards, an ultra sound scan was initiated on Patient Bri. The results showed a small linear shadow, a thin line around the intestines.

    Exploratory surgery was initiated right away and they soon discovered a small, spiky, wooden toothpick.

    So what exactly did this toothpick do to his body? And why did such a small insignificant thing cause so much pain that got worse over time? Well, lets explain...

    The night that Brian ate the sandwich, no one told him it was a leftover sandwich from a party, and at this party, the small sandwiches were pierced with toothpicks for various reasons. Unbeknownst to Brian, the individual who wrapped up the sandwich, never told him that when removing the toothpick from the sandwich, only the top half came off, meaning the bottom half, hidden in the sandwich had broken off and remained buried in the sandwich.

    Immediately upon eating the small sandwich, the toothpick at first went down smoothly, Through the esophagus, through the stomach but once it reached his intestines, the toothpick had managed to rip through the man's intestinal
    lining causing a puncture and tear and became infected, swollen and inflamed that gradually got worse over time.

    Had this infection continued unchecked, the infection would have spread to other organs or to the blood and would have caused the intestines to rupture if it became too swollen. Peritonitis would have resulted, which is when a persons intestinal contents spill into his/her abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.

    Once the toothpick was removed, great care was given to patch up the hole that the toothpick caused after removal and a round of antibiotics was given to help Patient Bri kill the infection and with some R & R, Brian made a full recovery from the incident.

    So remember folks, if its after midnight, and you're sleepy, if you catch a bite to eat, always make sure its safe and free from outside contaminants.

    This is Dr. S. Horror, signing off, so be safe my friends. 

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