Another crop of curious cases, including a teen with a tail and an unusual onanistic injury
PULLING A SICKLE
This is the first recorded case resulting from masturbation
After a day of harvesting in Deori, India, Bhuppu Sen,
16, retired to bed, leaving his sickle on the floor beside him. During the night, he rolled out of bed and straight onto the implement, embedding the end 1.5 inches (4cm) into his head. Amazingly, Sen did not experience any bleeding, but was rushed to hospital where doctors carried out a CT scan and operated on him for three hours to remove the blade. Neurosurgeon Dr Kuldeep Singh, who carried out the procedure, was stunned that the boy survived and wasn’t paralysed by the injury, but he made a full recovery without any discernable brain damage and reported that he didn’t feel any pain from his injury. nypost. com, 18 Mar 2022.
While having a routine filling at the dentist, 60-year-old Tom Jozsi from Illinois breathed in at just the wrong moment and inhaled the inch-long (2.5cm) drill bit. “I didn’t really even feel it going down. All I felt was a cough,” he said. A CT scan confirmed he’d inhaled the bit rather than swallowed it, and showed it was lodged deep in the right lower lobe of his lung. This meant that Joszi was likely to need invasive surgery to retrieve it, possibly involving removing part of his lung. However, pulmonary surgeon Dr Abdul Alraiyes, who treated Jozsi, decided to try to remove it with a catheter more usually used for detecting lung cancer. This was successful, and the medical team removed the drill bit without causing any damage or irritation.
“I was never so happy as when I opened my eyes, and I saw him with a smile under that mask shaking a little plastic container with the tool in it,” Jozsi said; the retrieved bit now enjoys pride of place on a shelf at his home. people.com, 19 Apr 2022.
A 20-year-old Swiss man was admitted to the Cantonal Hospital in Winterthur with a case described as “unusual” in the journal Radiology Case Reports. The man had severe shortness of breath and pain in his chest. He told medics that it began with a sharp pain in his chest while he was masturbating. An X-ray revealed “profound” amounts of trapped air inside his chest outside his lungs, and that it had travelled to other parts of his body, “reaching up until the base of the skull”. His face had swollen, and cracking sounds could be heard when doctors pressed their fingers on his neck, chest and arms.
The man was diagnosed as suffering from spontaneous pneumomediastinum, a condition in which the air sacs in the lung rupture under high pressure and air leaks out into the chest cavity. It usually results from strenuous exercise, violent coughing fits or projectile vomiting, all of which put stress on the respiratory system. It has occasionally been reported as occurring during sex, but this is the first recorded case resulting from masturbation. The victim was given oxygen, painkillers and antibiotics, and kept in hospital for four days, after which he was discharged having fully recovered. dailymail.co.uk, 13 Apr 2022.
An Austrian surgeon was fined 2,700 euros (£2,238) and ordered to pay 5,000 euros (£4,145) in damages after amputating the wrong leg of an 82-yearold patient with diabetes at a
hospital in Freistadt, near Linz. The mistake was not discovered for two days, after which the correct leg was amputated, although the patient died shortly after from unrelated causes. The 43-year-old woman doctor said that problems with the patient’s medical documents had led to the error and that none of her colleagues had spotted it during the final preoperative review either. Times, 3 Dec 2021.
Transplant surgeon Simon Bramhall, 57, has been struck off the medical register after admitting two charges of assault at Birmingham Crown Court because he had used an argon beam machine to brand his initials on the livers of two patients (see FT367:24 for the full story). He told police he branded the organs “to relieve tensions after long operations” but the Practitioners Tribunal Service said that his actions were “borne out of a degree of professional arrogance” and that he had “abused his position of trust to place his own interests above the interests of his patients”. D.Mail, 12 Jan 2022.
IT WILL GROW BACK...
New medical advances could well have benefitted these patients. Prof David Kaplan and Dr Nirosha Murugan at Tufts University, Massachusetts, have managed to regrow a frog’s leg using a cocktail of drugs in a dome worn over the stump of the severed limb for 24 hours, which set off regrowth over the following 18 months. Dr Kaplan said the dome “mimics an amniotic-like environment which, with drugs, allows rebuilding.” Dr Murugan added: “Other animals may have dormant regenerative capabilities that can be triggered into action,” bringing the possibility of human limb regeneration much closer.
Meanwhile, in Australia, scientists have developed a way of growing an entire new “mini-liver” in a patient’s leg that could then be transplanted to replace the damaged organ. The new one is grown in a cavity in the patient’s groin that is rich in blood vessels so results in a liver with plenty of its own blood vessels, essential for its long-term survival once it replaces the original organ. Queensland Courier Mail, 3 Dec 2021; D.Mirror, 27 Jan 2022.
TEEEN WITH A TAIL
Nepali teen Deshant Adhikari, 16, has a hairy tail 70cm (28in) long growing from his coccyx. Filmmaker Puskar Nepal, who has fimed Deshant and his tail, said: “His parents didn’t know about his condition until they took him home from hospital five days after he was born. They took him to different local hospitals and even abroad seeking the proper treatment, but no effort could stop the tail from growing.”
When they consulted local priests, they were told not to comb or cut the hair and to let it grow because the boy could be a reincarnation of Lord Hanuman, the monkey God, and since then it has been left to grow naturally. Now, a video of Deshant has gone viral on TikTok and he says: “A lot of people know me as the boy with a tail, and I feel good about it.” timesnownews.com, 14 Apr 2022.
In 2015, when Harry Long from Melbourne, Australia, was 16 and on holiday with his family in Malaysia, he experienced an excruciating pain beneath his shoulder blade mid-way through eating a giant bowl of Honey Stars cereal without milk. He described the pain being “as if someone had come up from behind and stabbed me” and staggered back to his room to recover. After 20 minutes he felt fine, but experienced frequent shortness of breath over the next few days. It wasn’t until a week later when the family were in Singapore that he went to a hospital and was X-rayed. This revealed that he had inhaled one of the cereal stars and its points had punctured his lung, causing it to collapse. That had caused the initial agony, which had subsided once the lung had totally collapsed, leaving him breathing with one lung for the week. Doctors told him he was extremely lucky to have survived the flight to Singapore – had the plane hit a certain altitude the change of pressure could have killed him. theguardian.com, 6 May 2022.