Category: health issues I wish I didn’t know about

NCBI ROFL: Dying with laughter…literally.

By ncbi rofl | April 3, 2013 12:00 pm

As a general rule on this blog, we do not feature studies involving people dying. However, we had to make an exception in this instance, if only for the first and last two sentences. Enjoy (but not too much)!

Fatal Laughter

“Background: In the 5th century BCE, the Greek painter Zeuxis reportedly died while laughing at his painting of Aphrodite, which was commissioned by a woman who demanded that she be the model. In the 3rd century BCE, the Greek philosopher Chrysippus reportedly died laughing after giving his donkey wine and watching it try to eat figs (1). Although the expression “died laughing” is a common colloquialism, we are not aware of any contemporary reports of laughter-induced death, although there are reports of laughter-induced seizures (2) and laughter-induced syncope (3).

Objective: To describe a case of laughter-induced death.
Read More

NCBI ROFL: Rectal foreign bodies: eggplant edition.

By ncbi rofl | March 29, 2013 12:00 pm

ER doctors have to deal with some crazy stuff, perhaps the funniest of which involves people with various objects stuck up their butts. From salami and oven mitts to “plastic or glass bottles, cucumbers, carrots, wooden, or rubber objects…bulb, tube light, axe handle, broomstick, vibrators, dildos, a turkey buster[sic], utensils, [and] Christmas ornaments,” the list is long and varied. However, we think “eggplant” ranks close to the top, if only for its sheer audacity. 

Management of rectal foreign bodies.

“Entrapped anorectal foreign bodies are being encountered more frequently in clinical practice. Although entrapped foreign bodies are most often related to sexual behavior, they can also result from ingestion or sexual assault.
Between 1999 and 2009, 15 patients with foreign bodies in the rectum were diagnosed and treated, at Izmir Training and Research Hospital, in Izmir. Information regarding the foreign body, clinical presentation, treatment strategies, and outcomes were documented. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of these unusual patients. Read More

NCBI ROFL: Zip-related genital injury.

By ncbi rofl | March 22, 2013 12:00 pm

I know you’re dying to know: how common is it to get your junk stuck in a zipper? Does it really only happen to men, or are women affected by this calamity as well? Apparently, it’s horrifyingly more common than you might think; fortunately, there are several ways to get it unstuck.

Zip-related genital injury.

“OBJECTIVE:To describe the epidemiology of genital injuries caused by trouser zips and to educate both consumers and the caregivers of patients who sustain such injuries. Read More

NCBI ROFL: He gave me the hairy eyeball…literally.

By ncbi rofl | March 19, 2013 12:00 pm

You might think of tumors as amorphous balls of cells growing out of control. But did you know that they can have differentiated tissues inside of them? Some tumors grow sweat glands, hair, and even teeth. Ugh. This is a case report of a man who grew such a tumor in his eye, and the pun was not lost on his doctor. WARNING: graphic figure after the jump.

Images in clinical medicine. The hairy eyeball–limbal dermoid.

“A 19-year-old man presented to our ophthalmology clinic with a mass in his right eye that had been present since birth but had gradually increased in size. He did not have pain, but the mass caused vision defects, mild discomfort on blinking, and the intermittent sensation of the presence of a foreign body. Read More

NCBI ROFL: When you’re allergic to your toilet seat.

By ncbi rofl | February 6, 2013 3:00 pm

A bum deal from wooden toilet seats: reemergence of allergic contact dermatitis.

“We report a case series of 5 patients who were found to have an allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) to their wooden toilet seats. The patients presented to our contact dermatitis clinic during a 5-year period from 2005 until 2010. In each case, there was a regional eczematous eruption localized to the buttocks and posterior upper thighs with an annular configuration that matched to the shape of the patients’ toilet seats Read More

NCBI ROFL: The hidden danger of doctors’ purses.

By ncbi rofl | January 7, 2013 12:00 pm

Women doctors’ purses as an unrecognized fomite.

Health care associated infections are serious problems for today’s medical community. It is generally assumed that health care workers come in contact with pathologic bacteria and unwittingly transfer them to patients either directly with their hands, or indirectly through some inanimate object. If a doctor washes his or her hands before seeing a patient and then touches a colonized object, the benefit of hand washing may have been undone. Previous studies have identified stethoscopes, neck ties, mobile phones, keyboards, lab coats, and other commonly worn accessories as potential sources of disease transmission contributing to health care associated infections. Women doctors’ purses have not previously been studied as a potential source of disease transmission. This study evaluated whether doctors’ purses served as a potential source of disease transmission. Read More

NCBI ROFL: A Jungle in There: Bacteria in Belly Buttons are Highly Diverse, but Predictable.

By ncbi rofl | December 12, 2012 7:00 pm

“The belly button is one of the habitats closest to us, and yet it remains relatively unexplored. We analyzed bacteria and arachaea from the belly buttons of humans from two different populations sampled within a nation-wide citizen science project. We examined bacterial and archaeal phylotypes present and their diversity using multiplex pyrosequencing of 16S rDNA libraries. We then tested the oligarchy hypothesis borrowed from tropical macroecology, namely that the frequency of phylotypes in one sample of humans predicts its frequency in another independent sample. We also tested the predictions that frequent phylotypes (the oligarchs) tend to be common when present, and tend to be more phylogenetically clustered than rare phylotypes. Read More

NCBI ROFL: She had an extra anus where?!?

By ncbi rofl | December 7, 2012 12:00 pm

A functional ectopic vaginal anus: a rare clinical entity.

“A case of functional ectopic vaginal anus is presented in a 20 years old girl. Read More

NCBI ROFL: An endoscopic Jack-o’-Lantern

By ncbi rofl | October 31, 2012 7:00 pm

“Figure 1: A 72-year-old man underwent follow-up colonoscopy after the removal of multiple tubulovillous polyps. Severe diverticulosis was the only finding. Three diverticula were seen adjacent to the larger lumen of the bowel.”
Read More

NCBI ROFL: Craft tips from PubMed: How to make a DIY cast of your rectum.

By ncbi rofl | October 3, 2012 7:00 pm

Rectal impaction with epoxy resin: A case report

“We describe a unique case of a patient presenting with rectal impaction following self-administration of a liquid used as masonry adhesive for anal sexual gratification. The solidified matter required laparotomy for its removal. Read More


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