Doctors Have To Surgically Remove Swallowed Phone

There's a list of objects one should not swallow, for example it's okay to swallow coffee but not the mug, or the cheesecake but not the knife. However, regardless of common sense or perhaps because of another motive, sometimes people conceal objects in order to get them somewhere they are not supposed to be. This may explain the case of a twenty nine year old prisoner, who was admitted to Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, after four hours of vomiting in prison. The man told staff that he had swallowed a mobile or cell 'phone. Staff were naturally suspicious of this, either because of the size of modern mobile phones or because, well, who would swallow a phone?

The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, also known as Tallaght Hospital, is a teaching hospital facility. This means that it has a high proportion of student doctors and under training medical professionals, and this in turn means that any unusual case is a useful exercise in study for the less experienced members of the team. Doctors arranged to have the patient x-rayed and indeed discovered there was a cellphone inside the man's stomach, trapped and unable to go further. This meant that the usual procedure - waiting for the body to dispose of the object itself - was not going to work and the man was in danger. The team attempted to remove the cellphone from the patient's mouth using a special tool, which required administering general anesthesia (as this is not a comfortable procedure!). Unfortunately the handset was lodged at the wrong angle and unable to be safely retrieved. With this in mind, the team had to operate, opening the man's stomach up to remove the phone with a pair of forceps.

Following the successful procedure, the man was observed and psychologically evaluated for a few days before being allowed back to prison. Unfortunately, we do not know if the handset survived the procedure, as it was handed to the police for forensic evidence. We do understand that it was the Long-CZ, described as the world's smallest handset. This is a 2G-only handset under an inch wide and less than 2.3-inch long - it would seem plausible that the prisoner deliberately swallowed this handset based on the small size, but things went wrong when it was lodged in his stomach.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.
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