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The Story Behind This Painful Looking X-Ray


"Auditory hallucinations"

Image source: Levy et al. via

A man high on PCP in a state of drug-induced psychosis tried to swallow his cellphone. As one might expect, it didn't go down smoothly and resulted in this painful looking X-ray.

X-ray phone Image source: Levy et al. via Internal and Emergency Medicine

The journal Internal and Emergency Medicine describes the patient as a 35-year-old man who tried to gulp down his phone in response to "auditory hallucinations." When he arrived at the emergency room, the phone could be seen coming out of the top of his throat. Doctors recorded him breathing rapidly in his agitation; he had 24 respirations per minute while the average adult at rest breaths about 12 to 16 times per minute.

Physicians tried to remove the device using forceps at first, but when it wouldn't budge, they readied an operating room and staff.

"The patient was emergently transported to the OR and 'double prepped' for both emergent cricothyrotomy and oropharyngeal intubation," the case study authors wrote. "The device was successfully removed under procedural sedation without the need for surgical intervention."

Part of the man's throat was torn as a result of the foreign object, but the journal article reported that he was treated without requiring further surgery and discharged from the hospital two weeks later.

This isn't the first time a person high on PCP has swallowed a foreign body. In 2012, a New Jersey man thought to be on the drug bit off his own finger and swallowed it while in jail.

(H/T: io9)

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