The terms “emergency” and “AAA” generally refer to a roadside incident. However, some doctors in Dublin are unlikely to associate the terms with anything other than a recent surgery – during which they found dozens of piles in the colon and stomach of a 66-year-old woman. .
A report of the incident, published in the Irish Medical Journal on Thursday, detailed the patient’s arrival at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, where an X-ray revealed the foreign bodies in her body. Miraculously, none obstructed his gastrointestinal tract, according to Live Science.
Doctors initially decided to wait in hopes that she would naturally push the piles out of her body. Although she took out five AA batteries in the first week, subsequent x-rays showed most were still stuck inside – and the woman began to experience abdominal pain.
After realizing that her distended stomach was hanging over her pubic bone due to the weight of the piles, surgeons cut her abdomen and managed to remove 46 of them.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, four additional batteries remained trapped in the colon. As described in the report, doctors “milked” them into her rectum to remove them from her anus. This brought the total number of batteries she ingested – AA and AAA – to 55.
“To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the highest number of batteries ingested at any given time,” the newspaper article said.
While the incident certainly inspired curious bewilderment, the report reminded readers that ingesting batteries is a serious, albeit “unusual” method of self-harm. Its authors noted that the act can cause serious problems, including “mucosal damage, perforation, [and] obstruction.”
“The potential of cylindrical batteries to cause acute surgical emergencies should not be underestimated,” the report states.
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