[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
December 1975

Complications of Ornamental Christmas Bulb Ingestion: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1975;110(12):1494-1497. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360180064014

• Unusual complications ensued when a 14-month-old boy ingested an ornamental Christmas bulb. Profuse rectal bleeding, a large ischiorectal abscess, and an acute condition of the abdomen necessitated a sigmoid colostomy with drainage of the ischiorectal abscess. Following this, repeated episodes of hemorrhage via the colostomy and rectum required multiple operative procedures. The last of these was a total colectomy with an ileostomy and rectal mucous fistula. The patient subsequently developed intestinal obstruction that required lysis of adhesions and drainage of a chronic subhepatic abscess, due to perforation of the terminal part of the ileum. The patient required five months of hospitalization and further surgery to reconstruct gastrointestinal continuity.

Hemorrhage is an infrequent complication of foreign body ingestion, as reported in the literature. We theorize that the problems in this case were the result of the extreme thinness (0.033 cm) and the brittleness of the glass fragments.

(Arch Surg 110:1494-1497, 1975)

Add or change institution