Friday Freetime: People Eating Weird Things

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Our CTO pointed me to an article in the LA Times today about people who eat things that are not food (on purpose) and how much it costs hospitals to treat them.  There are a few interesting things about this article:

1. The title: “Treating people who intentionally swallow foreign objects can be costly, a study finds “.  A Study Finds.  Someone said “Gee, I wonder how much it costs to get pens (the most frequently swallowed object) out of people.  Let’s do a study!”  I think things like this are the main reason I didn’t go to grad school.

2. This quote:

The most common items swallowed were pens (whole or in parts), followed by batteries, knives, razor blades, other metal objects, pencils, toothbrushes, spoons and coins. Despite the number of sharp objects ingested there were no deaths or perforations reported in any of the cases.

Wow.  No deaths or perforations when people swallowed RAZOR BLADES?  The human body is an amazing thing.

3. The conclusion that it costs Medicare & Medicaid $2 million to treat 305 cases of people *intentionally* swallowing things.  One person was responsible for 67 separate cases! Wow.  But, I wonder how much the study cost?

The vast majority of objects are easily removed without surgery, so I guess these people are kind of using their stomachs as…storage?

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