Doctors in Gloucester, England, recently found themselves faced with a dangerous discovery in a patient’s rectum that could have had potentially explosive consequences. Fearing for the security of the hospital, they called the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team (EOD) who were able to identify the offending foreign object as a World War II artillery shell. Upon inspection, the munition was found not to be live and so didn’t pose a threat to human health beyond getting lodged in the man’s behind.
The patient had presented to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital after reporting an unfortunate accident that led to one of his military collectibles entering his rectum, the Sun was the first to report. "[A] patient had presented with a munition in his rectum," a spokesperson for Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed to Insider. The 5.7 by 11.7-centimeters (2.2 by 4.6 inches) artifact reportedly made its eye-watering entry into the wartime enthusiast's person after he “slipped and fell” while cleaning and was subsequently unable to remove it.
Realizing his predicament, he sought the help of emergency room doctors at the UK hospital who upon hearing the nature of the device thought it best to seek the help of munitions professionals, and so brought in the EOD.
"As with any incident involving munitions, the relevant safety protocols were followed to ensure that there was no risk to patients, staff, or visitors at any time," Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement sent to Insider.
Once safely removed and identified as not dangerous, closer inspection of the item revealed it was a mortar round of the Royal Artillery used in WWII against enemy tanks. In its heyday, the sizable munition would have been used to rip through a tank’s defenses, sending shrapnel flying as it shattered its armor.
Foreign objects in the rectum is a medical presentation that doctors report usually comes about either “accidentally or for autoerotic purposes,” the latter essentially meaning masturbation. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying one’s own body, accidents can happen when foreign objects are used incorrectly or unwisely, and without proper preparation.
Everything from sex toys to showerheads and even 15 boiled eggs have been recorded in such patient presentations, some with more serious consequences than others. In the case of the (de-shelled) eggs, the patient suffered a perforation in part of his colon leading to air and fluid getting trapped in the abdomen. A laparotomy was performed revealing the patient had peritonitis from leaking feces.
"The eggs were removed as well as we could and the abdominal cavity was thoroughly rinsed," reported the case study. "After the operation, the patient was monitored for a short time in the ICU, and after a few days he was able to leave the hospital in a clinically good condition."
Indeed, it seems there are many ways in which you can have too much of a good thing. Just ask the medieval monarch who ate so many lampreys he died.