If parents are embarrassed that one of their children has swallowed something odd, they should do a bit of research. A list of strange things that have been found in emergency room patients in recent years would run the length of a football field. In most of these cases, the offender has been coaxed back to optimal health by medical technicians on the scene. Though medical personnel must sometimes resort to odd techniques in order to remove the items, serious injuries and fatalities rarely occur. Below are the four strangest items ever found to be hiding inside hospital patients.
In one case not all that long ago, a large ball of hair was pulled from the stomach of a teenaged girl. The hairball, which looked to be the size of a basketball, had been a long time in growing. Medical experts believe that the girl had long suffered from a psychological condition that caused her to eat her own hair. The condition, which manifests in strange ways, can usually be cured with some rigorous psychological counseling. Though hair in not innately harmful to the inside of the human body, it can cause digestive complications if it is not eventually removed by professionals.
Both men and women have been known to act in strange ways when it comes to love, but one Chinese woman truly entered the psychological pit of despair after a fight with her significant other. She swallowed several pieces of gravel, which caused digestive duress and eventually sent her to the hospital. Though grinding stones are often swallowed by birds to help with digestion, rocks are universally harmful to human beings, who do not have the internal organs to correctly process them. Because gravel that gets into the intestines can cause ruptures in the wall of the colon, physicians will generally need to operate to remove them.
People who are accustomed to using dentures might be in constant fear of swallowing them. This actually happened to one embarrassed woman, who was thereafter forced to admit to the emergency medical technicians that they slipped into her stomach while she was kissing her partner. As with most other hard objects, dentures and the like will typically show up on x-rays. If the object was very recently swallowed, then the surgeons will likely have to remove it through the throat while the individual is sedated. Once individuals have sheepishly been subjected to one of these operations, they are usually much more careful in the future.
4) Fir Tree
Though most foreign organic substances typically cannot live in the body for long, there are always some exceptions to this rule. In fact, when it comes to flowering plants, some people are remarkably fertile. One man, in fact, was found to have a fir tree going within one of his lungs. The moist air and oxygen-rich environment were generally found to be conducive for the tree to grow. Needless to say, the surgeons quickly removed the sapling before it could cause more harm. The man was later advised to be careful with what he ingested going forward.
In the end, all kinds of materials and substances have been accidentally or purposefully consumed over the years. From stones to coins to magnets, parents have made more than a few trips to the emergency room in order to find out what is troubling their young son or daughter. With the knowledge and skill of the attending surgeons, of course, most of these events end without any further complications. Most individuals who end up learning their lesson the hard way are surely more careful in the future.
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Fran Carter is an ER nurse and guest author at Top Nursing Programs, where she contributed to the guide to the Best Online MSN Programs.