from Bailey & Love's Short Practice Of Surgery, 21st Edition (Chapman & Hall Medical, 1992) - pages 1219-1220.

The variety of foreign bodies which have found their way into the rectum is hardly less remarkable than the ingenuity displayed in their removal (Fig. 52.7). A turnip has been delievered per anum by the use of obstetric forceps. A stick firmly impacted has been withdrawn by inserting a gimlet into its lower end. A tumbler, mouth looking downwards, has been extracted by filling the interior with a wet plaster of Paris bandage, leavin gthe end of the bandage protruding, and allowing the plaster to set. (O. Lloyd-Davies, 1905-87, Consultant Surgeon, St. Mark's Hospital, London)

Fig. 52.7

(a) Pepper pot in the rectum. On removal it was found to be inscribed 'A present from Margate' (Dr. L.S. Carstairs, Royal Northern Hospital, London.)

(b) A screwdriver with a plastic handle. (Dr. A.K. Sharma, Agra, India.)

(c) A
live shell, which needed careful handling.

If unsurmountable difficulty is experienced in grasping any foreign body in the rectum, a left lower laparotomy is necessary, which allows that object to be pushed from above into the assistant's fingers in the rectum. If there is considerable laceration of the mucosa a temporary colostomy is advisable.

[many thanks to Dr. Kelvin Lau of Sydney, AU, for his research and scanning prowess...]

From melanie Mon May 1 13:39:24 1995


Subject: Live Artillery Shell

I have a butt page story for you, but, unfortunately, no documentary evidence. The story was told me by my brother, who used to lodge with a nurse. It is the nurse's story. About five years ago an old WW2 veteran used to come into a hospital clinic in the east end of London suffering from bad haemorroids (piles). The clinic did what they could, but they could never relieve the most painful pile, which would hang down and get stuck on the seam of the man's underpants. To rid himself of the nuisance of this pile, the old man used to push it back up into his rectum using the artillery shell from an anti-aircraft gun he used to man in the war. One day the shell got stuck and the man was forced to hobble down to the hospital to get it removed. As the doctor was about to insert his fingers into the old man's rectum to remove the shell he said 'Of course, this shell is spent, isn't it?' 'Oh no,' said the old man 'There's enough ammo in that shell to blast a Messerschmidt (sp?) out of the sky.' So the doctor called in the army bomb squad, who built a lead box around the old man's asshole and defused the shell in situ, before removing it.

A good little story for VE day, I thought. --
Melanie McGrath

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