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March 3, 1969

Hazards of Eating Razor Blades

Author Affiliations

Oak Park, Ill

JAMA. 1969;207(9):1719. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03150220135033

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To the Editor:—  Dr. Herman Cohen (206:1582, 1968) gives an explanation for the low incidence (12%) of perforation following ingestion of glass fragments. He theorizes that the smooth muscle coats of the gut relax following injury to the overlying mucosa. The usual response to trauma is contraction.He refers to a case of razor blade ingestion, and leaves one with the impression that this is a relatively innocuous pastime. I would differ with him on the basis of a case of my own. A prisoner broke one half of a double edge safety razor blade into three fragments and swallowed them. An abdominal flat plate localized them in the gastric lumen. Laparotomy and gastrotomy yielded the fragments plus a good deal of bright red blood, as well as a 4-cm laceration of the gastric mucosa on the lesser curvature. This series of one case leaves me with a considerably