His kin warned doctors that he sometimes swallowed coins, and a few had been removed from his stomach in past hospital visits. still, doctors were awed when they took an x-ray. They discovered an enormous opaque mass in his stomach that turned out to weigh 12 pounds — adenine much as some bowl balls. It was so heavy it had forced his stomach down between his hips. Five days after his arrival, doctors cut him open and removed his ill damaged digest with its contents. He died 12 days late from complications. A decade of swallowing coins
One of his doctors, intensive care specialist Dr. Bruno Francois, said the patient had swallowed the coins — both french currentness and late euro — over about a ten. His syndicate tried to keep coins and jewelry aside from him. “ When he was invited and came in some homes, he liked to steal coins and eat them, ” Francois said. The character history of the french patient, whose name was withheld, was reported in Thursday ’ s New England Journal of Medicine.
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The patient ’ second rare condition is called pica, a compulsion to eat things not normally consumed as food. Its name comes from the Latin password for magpie, a dame think to eat barely about anything. What is pica?
Pica can take the human body of eating crap, ashes, chalk, haircloth, soap, toothbrushes, burned matches and many early things. Francois once treated a affected role who ate forks. Most such objects are small adequate to pass on their own, but some must be removed by doctors. The condition is possibly best known in children and meaning women but is besides sometimes linked to psychiatric illness.
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A few details of the Frenchman ’ mho lawsuit were presented Jan. 1 along with the x-ray — but no explanation of the stomach mass — as a challenge to New England Journal of Medicine readers in a fastness called “ A Medical Mystery. ” Dr. Lindsey Baden, an editor at the diary, reported that 666 readers in 73 countries — by and large doctors or doctors-in-training — contacted the daybook to try to solve the mystery. Almost 90 percentage settled on diagnoses consistent with pica, but only 8 percentage correctly identified coins. “ This case serves as a reminder of significant factors that should be considered in the care of patients who are mentally afflicted, ” Baden wrote .
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