Trampolining is not a team sport

A 12-year-old boy was jumping on a backyard trampoline and thought it would be fun if all of his friends bounced on it together. When they did, the trampoline dipped low, and a spring broke off, impaling the boy in his left upper back. He was taken to a hospital, where doctors removed the spring under local anesthesia. His recovery was uneventful. In 2018, the number of trampoline-related injures treated in emergency departments, clinics, and doctors’ offices exceeded 300,000 in the US. More than one participant on the trampoline at the same time is a known risk factor for injuries.


A good reason to remove all false teeth before surgery

Six days after undergoing minor surgery, a 72-year-old man presented to an emergency room with coughing up blood and difficulty swallowing. A chest x-ray was taken, he was diagnosed with pneumonia, and he was prescribed antibiotics and steroids. He returned to the hospital, and another x-ray showed a set of partial upper dentures in his larynx. After removal, he continued to have hemoptysis requiring blood transfusions because of a bleeding artery. He recovered after six weeks. This complication should never have happened.


IUDs are more effective in the uterus

The red arrow points to the IUD in the bladder. The white arrow points to the IUD in the uterus.

A woman in China  suffered from abdominal pain, urinary frequency, and blood in the urine for several years. Her history was significant for having had a cesarean section one year after insertion of an intrauterine device, which was not seen at the time of the operation. Investigation revealed the presence of an IUD in the uterus and a second IUD—the one inserted before the cesarean section—was seen in the urinary bladder. The IUD in the bladder was removed, and the patient did well. Migration of an IUD into the bladder is thought to be rare, but at least 40 cases have been reported in the recent literature.

Find my AirPod

The arrow points to the AirPod in the intestine.

An AirPod ended up in the G.I. tract after a young Taiwanese man apparently swallowed it while sleeping. He awoke, noticed one of his AirPods was missing and activated the “Find my AirPod” feature on his iPhone. When it started beeping, he looked everywhere in the room and finally realized it might be inside him. An x-ray confirmed the presence of the AirPod in his intestine. The most interesting part of the story is that after he passed the device and fished it out of the toilet, it not only worked, it still had 41% battery life. I’m not sure I would have put it in my ear though.


Skeptical Scalpel is a retired surgeon and was a surgical department chairman and residency program director for many years. He is board-certified in general surgery and a surgical sub-specialty and has re-certified in both several times.For the last 9 years, he has been blogging at and tweeting as @SkepticScalpel. His blog has had more than 3,700,000 page views, and he has over 21,000 followers on Twitter.