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Lost pen still writes after 25 years in stomach acid

CASE REPORT From the BMJ

A 76-year-old female, with a blameless medical history other than well-controlled depression, was referred for urgent investigation due to weight loss and diarrhoea. A flexible sigmoidoscopy demonstrated severe diverticulosis and a subsequent CT abdomen showed a linear foreign body in the stomach but no other abnormality. Her symptoms resolved spontaneously.

On subsequent questioning, she recalled unintentionally swallowing a pen 25 years earlier. While she was interrogating a spot on her tonsil with the pen she slipped, fell and swallowed the pen by mistake. Her husband and general practitioner dismissed her story and plain abdominal films done at the time were reported as normal. A gastroscopy demonstrated a plastic felt-tip pen sitting in the lumen of the stomach without evidence of any gastric damage.

The case was discussed at the gastrointestinal multi-disciplinary meeting and the consensus of opinion was that despite being there for 25 years without causing any problems, the pen should be removed as there has been at least one case report of a duodenal perforation caused by an ingested ballpoint pen. It was subsequently removed in a combined endoscopic and ear, nose and throat procedure under general anaesthetic. The pen was still in working order…”

 

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2 comments on “Lost pen still writes after 25 years in stomach acid

  1. steffw89
    December 20, 2011

    Would you mind if I linked my post to yours? I have just drafted a post about a bit of silly thing about the life and unknown adventurws of a pen and when searching for a picture I came accross your post and would love to put a link to yours in my post?

  2. Pingback: A quick story. « BusyNothings

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2011 by in Health.
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