A newspaper’s freedom of information request revealed a bizarre collection of items removed from the insides of hospital patients by doctors.
East Grinstead Courier & Observer reporter Lewis Dean submitted the request to NHS bosses at East Surrey Hospital earlier this year.
The health trust’s response revealed that items removed from patients’ bodies by doctors had included a light bulb, a pair of scissors, and a toxic plant growing in someone’s intestine.
It has now published the results in a story which has already been picked up by the BBC and other national media.
Said Lewis: “I think we’ve all heard urban legends of how people have been admitted to hospital through bizarre circumstances. But these stories usually come from your mate after a couple of pints down the pub (“I know someone who…”).
“So the FoI was basically me going fishing for a genuine and intriguing story, not just pub chat. When the hospital’s response arrived it’s fair to say there were a few raised eyebrows on the newsdesk.”
Possibly the strangest item on the list was a deodorant bottle that had to be removed from a patient’s bottom.
The newspaper asked Dr Ben Mearns, clinical leader for acute and elderly medicine at the hospital, how he thought it had got there.
Dr Mearns responded: “Some patients are more honest and some less honest. Your guess how a bottle would get into someone’s bottom is as good as mine.”
Urging people to adopt a “common sense approach” to their health and safety, he added: “If an item is not supposed to be inserted into the body, it shouldn’t be.”