The rise in price of a tartlet left one person with more than sugar. He removed Mother's Day dessert so quickly that he failed to notice that he had swallowed a 2-inch (5 cm) cake tartlet.
The topper, which read "Happy Mother's Day," was lodged in his throat the week before, doctors discovered it, according to a new case report.
A 60-year-old man went to the emergency room (EP) after suffering from sore throat, fever, difficulty swallowing and feeling that something was stuck in his throat, according to a report published on October 10 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine . The man told doctors his symptoms began about a week before his visit to the emergency room after he recently had a cupcake on Mother's Day, writes the report from Jones Hopkins University School of Medicine.
(Credit image: Reprinted with permission from Elzevier (2019).)
The man had previously attended various medical treatments for throat discomfort, but he was discharged after X-ray of his neck shows no abnormalities.
But at Johns Hopkins, doctors ordered a CT scan that showed a "5cm alien body" in his esophagus they wrote.
The man underwent upper endoscopy, a procedure where doctors use a thin, flexible tube with a camera to look into the esophagus.
Doctors saw a "pink foreign body" covered with food debris that caused some tears in the man's esophagus, the report said. During the endoscopy, the doctors repaired the tear and removed the foreign body, which they found to be a plastic upholstery tartlet.
EP doctors often see patients who swallow foreign bodies . However, in most cases, the foreign object passes by the body alone – less than 20% of cases require removal from doctors, the report said.
When a foreign body is lodged in the throat, tear in the esophagus is associated with a complication – in serious cases, it can lead to death in up to 18% of patients, the report said.
X-rays are often the first imaging tests ordered in cases such as this, but the test may miss objects such as plastic and glass, as is the case with this patient.
The man was hospitalized for four days due to persistent difficulty swallowing; but by the time of his release he could have resumed a normal diet, the report said.
Originally published on by Live Science .