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March 18, 1968

Beer Drinker's Finger

JAMA. 1968;203(12):1076. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140120074032

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To the Editor:  Beer drinking has been condemned on several counts in the past. Obesity and nutritional cirrhosis have long been attributed to excessive beer consumption, and more recently "beer drinker's heart" has been described. We would like to chronicle a new and unusual complication associated with beer.

Report of a Case:—  A 29-year-old Negro woman entered City Hospital Emergency Room with a complaint of pain and swelling of the left ring finger. The patient had been involved in a beer drinking bout with a number of heavy imbibers. After consuming several cans of beer, she apparently idly slipped several of the rings of the pop-top beer can openers over the left ring finger after removing the metal flange which seals the opening in the can. The party continued until late into the next day and on awakening 24 hours later the patient noted pain and swelling in the left