On last night’s episode of “Bizarre ER,” where they roam the planet finding the most bizarre and usually disturbing emergency-room cases facing doctors and staff, one can imagine only how difficult their jobs can be.
A man named Paul came to an emergency room because his tongue would not stop bleeding while he was eating nachos. This happened because he bit his tongue, not the tip, but the middle of his tongue, which gave the emergency-room staff a puzzle. To add to the conundrum, he takes blood thinners, which makes the bleeding more of a problem. After stuffing his mouth with gauze and sucking on ice chips, it still would not stop bleeding. After five hours of bleeding, drastic measures had to be taken.
They gave him a shot of lidocaine and epinephrine directly in his tongue. As the doctor held his tongue with gauze, he injected the combination of drugs directly in his tongue as the man winced in pain. Unfortunately, it did nothing to control the bleeding. Next step, suturing the tongue. One suture was all it took, with the warning, no hot liquids or alcohol for at least a day, and definitely no nachos.
Paul was not alone as for food-related injuries. In the UK alone, there are nearly 120,000 food-related injuries a year. Half happened while cooking with boiling hot water and sauces, or using razor-sharp knives. At every turn, you are dicing with death, when dicing an onion.
In Serbia in 2011, an 80-year-old stuntman placed a bet that he could eat an entire bicycle in three days. After polishing off the handlebars and saddle, he choked on a pedal and had to be rushed into the hospital. During the emergency surgery, the doctors found five pounds of metal and two gold rings. So much for an iron-rich diet.
In South Korea in 2011, a woman was eating some squid when she felt a prickling sensation on her tongue followed by a bizarre squirming feeling inside her mouth. At the hospital, they found out that she bit into the squid’s sperm sac, releasing twelve baby squidlets that impregnated the soft tissue of her mouth. Yuck!
When six-year-old Luis was admitted into an emergency room, he had nobody to blame but himself. He put something up his nose that would not come out. It was a half-inch peg from a battleship board game up there, discovered when his mother heard him breathing funny. If not removed, he could ingest it into his lungs. As the doctor tried to remove the slippery snot-covered piece, it lodged further into his nasal cavity. Next stop, the specialist who attempts to use a medieval style hook that did not work. Step three, suck out the peg with a vacuum type instrument. No luck there either. Step four, the most drastic one; go to surgery. The next day, the examination under anesthesia (EAU) was performed, and it was removed while Luis was sound asleep and offered no resistance. However, when he went home, he found out that the game was no longer there, as his mother was taking no more chances.
In Mexico in 2011, a woman named Karla was taken to an emergency room, with an unexploded grenade in her face. She balances her day between her three children and managing a fish stall on a roadside. Suddenly, she heard a loud noise and felt something hit her face that knocked her down. Bleeding, they rushed her to the hospital. As they attempted to help her, people started screaming. It was a rocket-propelled grenade embedded in her jaw and inside her mouth. This dangerous section of Mexico finds more people armed than unarmed, and the murder rate is extremely high.
The grenade could go off at any moment, making it extremely difficult to remove it safely. As the hospital was evacuated, in a place accustomed to violence and gory injuries, this headed the list. Seven brave doctors volunteered to work on Karla, facing sudden death at any moment. As for Karla, she was only given a five-percent chance of survival. She found inner peace, knowing she would be with her children forever; one way or another.
Once the grenade was freed, the bomb squad removed it from the hospital leaving the doctors to complete the reconstruction of her face. She had multiple fractures in her upper and lower jaw that were broken into six pieces. They took a large piece of her thigh with all the veins and arteries to replace the hole in her face. Although her face will never be the same, she is grateful to the brave doctors who gave her a new life to spend with her children.
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