Batteries, razor blades and metals: everything was found in stomachs

Batteries, razor blades and metals: everything was found in stomachs

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Ingested: Doctor found the most impossible objects in the stomachs of his patients
Five-mark pieces, razor blades, safety pins: a doctor from Bielefeld tells in a book which objects he found in the stomachs of his patients. The stories behind it are often even stranger than things.

Foreign body in the gastrointestinal tract
Swallowed small parts can lead to severe damage in the gastrointestinal tract. It is therefore always astonishing how bad injuries or foreign bodies can survive in the body.

40 knives swallowed
In 2014, a shaman in Nepal was reported to be swallowing four 12 to 15 centimeter long iron bars that remained in the 47-year-old's body for two months before being removed by doctors.

And just a few weeks ago, "CNN" reported on a case from India in which 40 knives were taken from a man's stomach. The 42-year-old had swallowed the parts because he said he felt an incredible desire for metal.

Swallowed spoons provided variety
But even here in Germany doctors get things from the stomachs of patients, where the question is how they could be swallowed at all. Siegfried Ernst Miederer has experienced a lot in his everyday practice. The long-time ex-chief physician of a Bielefeld clinic with a focus on gastroenterology tells in a message from the dpa news agency what he has already found inside people.

Miederer points to a row of metal handles and says: “A man has swallowed the many spoon handles. He was an inmate of a correctional facility near Bonn, hoping to take a break from everyday prison life. ”The“ poor swallow ”, as the 74-year-old doctor calls him when he was retired, had broken off the actual spoon so that the rest of the cutlery was a good ten centimeters long to get the esophagus.

"That took at least two weeks to the hospital. He came out of prison and was also able to enjoy the nursing care. ”After the inmate had been operated on more than 20 times, Miederer offered to remove the objects through the esophagus with an endoscope. The man stopped swallowing spoons. Miederer has collected the spoon handles, as well as other items such as roller mop skewers, buttons and keys.

Look into the stomach with an endoscope
His collection also represents a chapter in the history of medicine: As early as the middle of the 19th century, there was the idea of ​​looking into the stomach of a patient with a long tube. In 1958, research was finally ready to introduce the first flexible endoscope.

Soon afterwards Miederer was able to bring swallowed objects back to life without surgery. The doctor was later involved in the development of the first disinfection device for flexible endoscopes at the Medical Polyclinic of the University of Bonn, which is now on display in the Bonn branch of the German Museum - in addition to a series of "stomach finds" from Miederer's collection.

Sensational character between disgust and amazement
“They are among our particularly well-received exhibits. Visitors are standing in front of it again and again and are surprised that you can swallow whole spoons and even a dentist's drill, ”explains museum director Andrea Niehaus in the dpa report. The museum uses the sensational character between disgust and amazement to draw attention to the history of endoscopy, which is illustrated with early endoscopes from the 1950s.

Doctor had to buy father's removed coin
Miederer can tell a story for each of his curious finds, for example the five-mark piece that a son of a teacher accidentally swallowed when he was fighting with his older brother. After the doctor took the coin out of his stomach, the father immediately put it in his own pocket.

"I had to give him a five from my own wallet before he gave me the coin for my collection," recalls Miederer, who wrote a book with the most interesting facts about the finds. Among other things, he reports on the battery that a primary school boy swallowed in a toy car race.

According to the doctor, the boy had secretly hidden the battery from his six-year-old competitor's car in his mouth to improve his chances of winning - and then accidentally swallowed it.

If in doubt, get medical help
However, such incidents do not always turn out lightly. “It becomes problematic when round objects lie on the larynx. Then there is a risk of suffocation, ”says Miederer. Therefore, if in doubt, a doctor should be consulted. You should also get medical help for some other items, such as swallowed magnets.

But other small things find their way back to daylight on their own. Support is not necessary - except maybe a good portion of mashed potatoes and a few glasses of water. (ad)

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