Michael Galkovsky / Flickr)
Toothpicks seem so innocent. Whether staking down juicy sliders
on game day or harpooning fruits bobbing in happy-hour cocktails,
the mini skewers often spike our festive occasions. But, make no
mistake, they have a vicious side. Given the chance, they will mess
Of the poor souls who somehow ingest one of the wee daggers, 79
percent will end up with stab wounds their innards. Ten percent
will die from their toothpick-inflicted injuries.
A new case study in the New England Journal of Medicine lays out
some of the gory details behind those stats. A team of Boston
doctors tell the woebegone tale of an unnamed, 18-year-old
professional athlete who unknowingly swallowed a wooden toothpick.
After weeks of abdominal pain, multiple visits to emergency rooms,
bloody poops, and a life-threatening infection, doctors finally
discovered it—lodged in his colon, piercing through his
intestinal wall and into a neighboring, large artery. Then there
was the harrowing effort to remove it and patch him up.
Source: FS – All – Science – News
A toothpick nearly killed a pro athlete, piercing his intestines and an artery