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Professional athletes suffered from inexplicable pain for months - the fault was a toothpick

Professional athletes suffered from inexplicable pain for months - the fault was a toothpick



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Any complaints that arise leave doctors at a loss

A professional athlete suffers from nausea, diarrhea and fever after a meal. The complaints eventually become so severe that there is a risk to life. In the end, doctors discover the surprising origin of his health problems. It is a simple toothpick.

The doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital examined the strange complaints of a professional athlete and came to a surprising finding. They published their case report in the English-language journal "New England Journal of Medicine".

Professional athletes fall ill on a training trip

On a training trip, a professional athlete developed nausea, diarrhea and fever after taking a meal. The affected person at the age of 18 then went to an emergency room to be examined closely. Medical professionals palpated his stomach and took CT scans. A few hours later, the athlete was sent back to his hotel without any findings. Over the next two weeks, the abdominal pain, fever, and diarrhea disappeared, leaving only a slight nausea. The affected person traveled again with his team and trained again with low intensity. Finally the pain reappeared, this time radiating from the lower right quarter of the abdomen to the back. Blood also collected in the patient's stool. The body temperature rose to 39.7 degrees and the person's appetite set in. A few days later, the athlete went to the emergency room of a US hospital again.

Pain occurs again and again

When the doctors felt the abdomen, the athlete was very sensitive to the painful areas. Nevertheless, the fabric actually felt soft and healthy to the experts. The patient's blood values ​​were normal, but the heart was racing a little. The MRI images allowed the doctors to see the organs. Again, there was no evidence of an emergency, so the doctors sent the patient back home. Only a few days later, the man's condition deteriorated rapidly. A colonoscopy should be performed on the patient in the evening, for which he took the necessary laxatives. Shortly afterwards, however, large amounts of blood appeared in the stool, and he also suffers from chills and abdominal pain. For the third time in three weeks, the man has to go to an emergency room.

Does the athlete have an infection?

Upon arrival, the athlete looked dazed. Examination revealed that a lymph node in the right groin area was enlarged. This is clear evidence of an infection. So blood and stool samples were taken and sent to the laboratory for an examination. By evening the man already had a fever of more than 40 degrees and the affected person's muscles stiffened. The pulse started racing and the patient looked confused. Apparently the man was suffering from a severe infection, so antibiotics are given to him. Finally, feedback from the laboratory showed that the blood samples actually contained rod-shaped bacteria, which are found in the digestive tract and are among the most common pathogens causing life-threatening bacterial blood poisoning. These bacteria are called Klebsiella Pneumoniae. Although the patient was already taking antibiotics, the fever rose to 40.6 degrees the next day, and the patient's muscles stiffened again.

Doctors find toothpicks in the gut

The doctors started having a colonoscopy. The view of the small camera in the patient's body soon became obscured by blood. The experts flushed the liquid away and discovered the patient's life-threatening problem. A wooden toothpick was stuck in the man's colon, about 25 centimeters from the anus.

Various foreign bodies ingested can lead to dangerous wounds in the intestine. In most cases, those affected do not notice their problem at all and only the least patients can remember that they swallowed a foreign body at all. The health risk from swallowed toothpicks is extremely high. In a total of 136 cases with swallowed toothpicks, they pierced the intestinal wall in 79 percent of the cases. In ten percent of cases, such a swallowed toothpick even led to the death of the patient.

Toothpick has been removed

The doctors removed the toothpick directly, but with very serious consequences for the patient. By removing the toothpick, the blood pulsed into the intestine. Of course, the experts immediately tried to close the wound, but the bleeding still persisted. This meant that an emergency operation had to be carried out immediately. The X-ray images clearly showed that blood flows out of the right common pelvic artery into the colon. The 18-year-old patient was in acute danger. An immediate operation on the intestine had to be performed, in which the injured part of the vessel was removed. The resulting gap had to be closed again, for this the experts use a vein from the patient's leg.

The patient was only able to participate in professional sports again after seven months

The person recovered quickly and was able to leave the hospital after only one week. Initially, the athlete was only allowed to take walks for six weeks until the vessels and intestines had healed to such an extent that aqua and ergometer training was possible. This was followed by training with jogging units, sprints and strength training. It took a total of seven long months before the athlete had recovered from the toothpick incident and was able to participate in professional sports again. (as)

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