ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Ethiopian doctors extracted over a hundred iron nails and other sharp objects from the stomach of a patient in the capital Addis Ababa at the weekend.
Dawit Teare, a surgeon at St. Peter’s Specialised Hospital, said the 33-year-old patient suffers from mental illness and had apparently consumed the items, including 10-centimetre nails, four pins, a toothpick and pieces of broken glass.
“The patient has been suffering from mental illness for the last 10 years and had stopped taking his medication two years ago, one probable reason he started consuming inanimate objects,” Dawit told AFP after the two-and-a-half hour operation.
“I’m guessing he consumed the objects with the help of water, however, he is a lucky person that those sharp objects didn’t cut his stomach. That could have led to serious infections and even death,” he said.
The surgeon said that while he had dealt with other cases in which people with mental illness had swallowed multiple sharp objects, he had never encountered a case on this scale.
Dawit added that the patient was recovering well.