Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Darwins: the eel enema

True story: late 2003, Hong Kong

An unidentified 50-year-old entered the accident and emergency department of a local hospital complaining of abdominal pain. The doctor’s examination revealed peritonitis, an inflammation of the abdomen. Wondering what had caused the problem, doctors ordered an X-ray and spotted what appeared to be an eel inside his colon. Could an eel be the source of his pain?

Yes, the man admitted, there was an eel inside him. He had been suffering from constipation … and thought inserting an eel into his rectum would relieve it.

The man was rushed to the operating room, where an emergency laparoscopy disclosed that a 19” eel was biting the side of his colon. The eel had also taken a bite out of his rectum wall in transit, so to speak.

After the surgeons removed the animal and reconstructed the rectum, the man’s pain and constipation were both cured. He was discharged from the hospital a week later.
Reference: Surgery, Jan 2004, v.135 p 110

Taken from The Darwin Awards 4 by Wendy Northcutt, £9.99 – a great collection of amazing, true stories.

PS – The fate of the eel is unrecorded.

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