A varied diet

A 1964 article from the Archives of Surgery discusses how to treat psychotic patients who may have ingested inedible objects.

It reports on one remarkable case where the following list of objects was found in one patient’s stomach. They also helpfully provided a photo of all the objects laid out on a table.

Nickels (173), Pennies (161), Quarters (3), Dimes (26), Military buttons (22), Insignia clasps (5), Nails (50), Staples (5), Screws (16), Metal bolt (1), Metal nuts (4), Overall buckles (19), Metal cap top with keys (8), Lock key (1), Crucifix (2), Bottle caps (2), Knife handle (1), Fork handle (1), Spoon handle (1), Complete fork (bent double) (1), Dessert spoon (1), Rifle shell (unexploded) (1), Pieces of lead (14), Brass ball (1), Pieces of brass (3), Pins and needles (27), Watch parts (22), Broken earring (1), Rings with chain (2), Pieces of wire (7), Nondescript pieces of metal (16), Empty cigarette package (with tinfoil) (1), Official War Department letter (wrapped in cellophane) (1), Piece of glass (1), Streetcar tokens (2), Several small packages of cancelled postage stamps wrapped in cellophane.

Rifle shell? Blimey.

The persistent eating of inedible objects is known as pica although rarely does it occur in such as spectacular fashion.

Link to PubMed entry for 1964 study.

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