Sun Sentinel- When a patient shows up at a hospital with severe abdominal pain and ultrasound reveals a mass in his stomach, it’s only logical to think first of a tumor, perhaps cancer.
And that’s just what surgeons at Amritsar Corporate Hospital in India at first assumed, according to a hospital news release. But then they put a camera down his stomach Friday “and saw a very different kind of thing,” Jatinder Malholtra, the chief surgeon, told The Washington Post.
So different was it — they had never seen such a sight — that they did a CT scan to confirm what they saw, as it simply defied belief. And they found not just one of these things but many of them.
The things were knives, pocket knives, each about seven inches long. “In 20 years, I’ve never seen such a patient,” Malholtra said in an interview. “I was amazed.””We asked the patient whether he had consumed these knives in a few days or a few months,” said Malholtra. “He said he had taken 28 in number in the last two months.”
The scan did indeed show 28 knives inside.
A team of five surgeons opened him up. They found exactly 28 knives, just like the man said.
But while some of the knives were folded up, some were not. Their blades exposed, the man was bleeding profusely, said Malholtra. He could not have survived much longer, he added.
The surgeons carefully removed each of the 28.
But “we were not satisfied,” Malholtra said.
Perhaps the man, a 42-year-old police officer, had miscalculated. Perhaps his appetite for knives was greater than even he knew. Perhaps he had lost count. After all, a man who eats knives is not normal, perhaps not of sound mind, never mind his body.They did another scan in the operating theater and sure enough, found another 12, bringing the total to 40.
They too were extracted.
Why would a man swallow any knives, let alone 40?
“This was the big question,” said Malholtra. “But the answer was very erratic.” The man simply said “‘I have made my mind to take the knives. I don’t know why. Impulse.’ They were taken on impulse only.”
Did the man have a mental problem? That “seems to be,” said Malholtra. But otherwise “he’s very much a normal man.”
In fact, there is a condition called Pica, once described in the Journal of the American Board of Medicine, as “common, but commonly missed.”
Pica, said the article, “is the compulsive eating of nonnutritive substances and can have serious medical implications. Although it has been described since antiquity, there has been no single agreed-upon explanation of the cause of such behavior.”
Just a casual day at the ER in India for sure. How do I know that? Well going through the time line of the story, the guy goes walks in on the ER. He fills out some forms, select his health care provider probably, yada yada yada. Gets the sit down with his doctor and says “Hey doc, I think i swallowed something like close to 28 knives, some of them folded, some of them just fixed blade. Do you think you can help me out doc? It’s feeling rather uncomfortable.” Doctor replies back “Well sure thing! We’re gonna get you back to normal in no time. You will have to go under surgery, but It’s nothing i can’t handle!” Half way through the procedure the doc goes “Well, that just about does it, removed 28 knives. But you know what? I bet this rascal ate a knife or two more and just doesn’t remember. Let’s double check just to be sure” **removes 12 additional knives** “See! What did I tell ya! Happens all the time.”
Somehow after an extensive medical procedure to remove 40 objects used to cut and tear flesh and muscle tissue, do they bother to ask “hey man, why the fuck did you swallow all of this?” Some one should turn that into a reality tv show honestly. The emergency room in an Indian hospital where they have people that have extra limbs and skin conditions that make them look like a tree and idiots who just casually swallow 40 knives over a two month time span. I picture like an A&E Network show like Pawn Stars/ Miami Ink meets House meets every medical anomaly in India. What a show that would be.