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Ring Pull Injuries

Ring Pull Injuries

A 48-year-old man accidentally swallowed the ring pull from a soft drink can. He complained of pain in his chest yet his chest radiographs were normal.

A metal detector emitted a strong response when passed across the front of his chest. Oesophagoscopy (that's throat surgery to you and me) was carried out and the ring pull was successfully removed.

The authors of the paper in which this incident was reported recommend the wider use of metal detectors by accident and emergency department staff, particularly when dealing with patients who have ingested metals of low radiodensity.

We recommend you just don't eat metal ringpulls.

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[Ryan, J., Perezavila, C.A., Cherukuri, A. and Tidey, B. (1995). Using a metal detector to locate a swallowed ring pull. Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine 12, 64-65.]

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07 May 2011