Melbourne: Running with scissors is dangerous but speeding with a toothbrush could be more hazardous. Ask a teenage Kiwi girl who accidentally swallowed it.
According to an Indian origin gastroenterologist Dinesh Lal a 15-year-old girl running up some steps with a 19-cm toothbrush in her mouth suddenly tripped and fell, pushing
most of the brush into her oesophagus.
The doctor, who works at an Auckland hospital, said the girl had to be admitted to the emergency department for treatment.
Elaborating the scenario, Dr Lal wrote "she immediately started choking and her younger brother came to help.
"Part of the toothbrush was still in the mouth but with apparently a very strong gag reflex she swallowed this down before it could be pulled out," according to a case study
published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.
The girl told doctors she felt fine, but could feel the toothbrush "churning around in her stomach".
Even an X-ray could not detect the brush but surgeons were able to spot it in the girl`s stomach using a camera lowered down her throat under general anaesthetic.
They were then able to grasp the bristle end of the toothbrush using a medical snare and pull it back out through her mouth.
There was no internal damage and the girl was able to go home the same day.
So, in summary "walking or running around with a toothbrush in the mouth is potentially dangerous," Dr Lal wrote.