The screwdriver was buried deep enough that it had already pierced the man's large intestine.
In a recent medical mishap, a 46-year-old man was admitted for surgery at a hospital in Florida to remove a screwdriver that was stuck inside his rectum.
According to Florida’s WFLA news outlet, the man entered the operation room in a state of septic shock. He underwent two separate surgeries to get rid of the foreign object — and even had a chunk of his rectum removed to avoid further infection.
The man told doctors he’d been experiencing pain in his abdomen and pelvis for a week. A CT scan quickly revealed the cause: a full-sized screwdriver lodged inside his rectum. The tool, which was almost eight inches long, was buried deep enough that it had pierced his large intestine.
Doctors at Miami’s Kendall Regional Medical Center first tried to retrieve the foreign object without surgically removing it. However, the attempt proved difficult due to the large amount of blood and feces. There was no other way to get the screwdriver out other than surgery.
According to the report, published in the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, the doctors discovered during the surgery that the sharp end of the screwdriver had pierced through the man’s bowels and part of his rectum — into the muscle in his right buttocks.
Part of his rectum had decayed from sepsis shock, so doctors were also forced to remove a chunk of his rectum to prevent further infection. A large buttock abscess was drained during the surgical procedure as well.
Two days after his first surgery, the man was put under again for a second re-laparotomy and a proximal end diverting colostomy, which would allow the man’s feces to redirect and drain into a bag or pouch attached to the abdomen. More of the right buttock’s wound had decayed, so the doctors removed more of the rotting tissue.
The severity of the injury warranted a team of doctors and two separate surgeries to remove the screwdriver from the man’s rectum and prevent further damage to his insides.
Miraculously, the man recovered well after his surgeries, as the case report noted after a two-week follow-up with the patient. His colostomy appeared to be functioning properly, so doctors scheduled the man for a reversal procedure in the following year.
The doctors in the case study did not specify how the screwdriver got stuck inside the patient’s body, but they did list a number of possible causes. Among them: to achieve sexual pleasure, to conceal drugs, or to alleviate diarrhea or constipation.
The Florida patient did have a history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, poor compliance with medications, and substance abuse. Still, it’s difficult to determine the true reason for the screwdriver’s insertion.
Warning: The photo below is graphic, and some may find it disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.
The report recommended that “clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion when encountering patients with nonspecific lower abdominal or anorectal pain in patients with inconsistent presentations.”
Doctors also noted the need for empathy and compassion when dealing with patient cases related to insertion of foreign objects inside their bodies. Otherwise, the patients might not admit what really happened.
Incredibly, this recent case was not the first time the discovery of a screwdriver inside a patient’s colon has been recorded in medical literature. In 1861, a prisoner died after inserting a tool box measuring five-by-six inches — which included two small saws, a four-inch long gun barrel, and a screwdriver — through his anus.
The second case was a 56 year-old man with a psychiatric condition who had inserted a screwdriver into his rectum that reached into the left lower side of his abdomen. Doctors retrieved the screwdriver by using forceps.
Perhaps these tools should come with an explicit warning to discourage people from their unintended use.
Next, read about the man who got three-inch tweezers removed from his urethra. Then learn about the man who swallowed a spoon on a dare — and got it stuck in his esophagus for a year.