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February 5, 1916


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1916;LXVI(6):421. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580320029009

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The practice by professionals of swallowing foreign bodies, and the mania for doing so by the insane, has contributed to medical literature reports of instances of the most grotesque assortment of articles having been retained in the stomach for long periods, without injury to the mucous membrane and without producing symptoms. The case I report is somewhat novel in that the patient exhibited a preference for one article, namely, teaspoons. The limit of this woman's capacity, had her habit not been discovered and interrupted, can only be conjectured. The nurse in charge of a ward at the Rochester State Hospital by chance saw a teaspoon disappear into the woman's mouth. A roentgenogram was immediately made which showed apparently three or possibly four spoons in the stomach. The woman was 29 years of age, was evidently in perfect physical health, and, as far as could be determined, had suffered no distress

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