Barbecue brush bristle sends Washington man to hospital for emergency surgery

The figure shows axial and coronal images from intravenous contrast-enhanced computed tomography showing a wire grill-cleaning brush bristle in the omentum, surrounded by soft tissue stranding (inflammation). CDC

wire brush bristle, x-ray
The figure shows axial and coronal images from intravenous contrast-enhanced computed tomography showing a wire grill-cleaning brush bristle in the omentum, surrounded by soft tissue stranding (inflammation).
CDC

(CBS/AP) A Wash. man says he accidentally swallowed a steel bristle from a grill brush he used during a barbecue and needed emergency surgery to take it out.

KING 5reports that Adam Wojtanowicz's went to the hospital Sunday complaining of abdominal pain that wouldn't go away even after taking medication. Doctors then found a metal bristle and performed emergency surgery to pull out the thin metal bristle from his intestinal tract.

Pictures: 22 most shocking medical scans
CDC warns of injuries from inadvertently swallowing grill-cleaning brush bristles

Wojtanowicz says he recently hosted a cookout, and he thinks a steel bristle from his grill brush fell onto his steak and he apparently swallowed the metal without realizing it. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just warned Americans around the Fourth of July holiday of potential dangers from inadvertently swallowing wire brush bristles that may have fallen off grill-cleaning brushes.

In its July 6 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC described six cases of patients accidentally swallowing the brushes, suffering injuries that ranged from painful swallowing from a punctured throat to tears in the gastrointestinal tract that required emergency surgery. All patients recovered from their injuries once the bristle was removed.

The CDC doesn't blame a particular brand or type of brush.

If you swallow a grill brush bristle, the CDC encourages people to report it to SaferProducts.gov

  • CBS News Staff

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