It’s okay to be curious every once in a while but as they say, curiosity did kill the cat. An inquisitive woman apparently needed to know what swallowing a bunch of batteries could do to the human body.
Doctors in Dublin, Ireland, were in for quite the experience when they found dozens of batteries in a 66-year-old woman’s colon and stomach. The group released a report of the incident in the Irish Medical Journal, which detailed the patient’s arrival at St. Vincent’s University Hospital and the rest of the surgical process to remove the foreign objects.
An X-ray revealed a number of batteries in the woman’s body. Thankfully, none of them were obstructing her gastrointestinal tract but they still caused some problems for the doctors involved.
The doctors opted to see if any of the batteries would pass out of her body naturally but were left with no choice after only five AA batteries went through in the first week. That’s also when the abdominal pain started to kick in.
Surgeons cut into her abdomen and successfully removed 46 batteries relatively easily before they had to extract the remaining objects trapped in the colon. The doctors “milked” the batteries into her rectum to remove them from her anus, bringing the total amount of batteries ingested to a staggering 55.
“To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the highest reported number of batteries ingested at a single point in time,” the journal article said.
Ingesting batteries can cause severe issues, including “mucosal injury, perforation, [and] obstruction” just as in this situation. “The potential of cylindrical batteries to result in acute surgical emergencies should not be underestimated,” the report said.