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Grilling pains: case series of four patients needing operative intervention after accidental ingestion of a wire bristle


Accidental ingestion of a grill brush wire bristle is a rare event. Retrieval rarely requires surgical intervention as the wire typically causes symptoms above the gastro-oesophageal junction and can frequently be removed endoscopically. There are few reported cases of gastrointestinal injury due to ingestion of wire bristles lodging past the gastro-oesophageal junction in adults. We present four cases of wire brush bristle ingestion that required operative intervention. Our case series illustrates how the commonly used wire grill brush may cause a serious injury. This diagnosis should be considered in patients who present with abdominal pain, non-specific symptoms and normal labs, with liner radio-opaque imaging findings and a history of grill use. Education as to the dangers of grill wire brushes to clean grills should be provided commercially.

  • trauma
  • general surgery
  • gastrointestinal surgery

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