A new study released in the medical journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology has some disturbing figures about people who intentionally swallow foreign objects — pens, batteries, knives, razor blades and such — and the health care costs they incur.
The study was conducted by doctors at Rhode Island Hospital, and they looked at 305 cases of people who intentionally swallowed foreign objects over a span of eight years there. Those cases involved only 33 patients, one of whom was admitted 67 times for swallowing crazy stuff. Here's the breakdown of which foreign objects were swallowed the most:
Razor blades: 6.9%
Damn. Fucking razor blades??? So who exactly is doing this to themselves? Sadly, and unsurprisingly, most reported cases are patients with psychiatric disorders. From USA Today:
Of those patients, 79% were previously diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. More than half of the patients were diagnosed with a mood disorder, while others had anxiety, substance abuse, psychotic or impulse control disorders.
Anyway, the total estimated medical bills these patients racked up: $2,018,073 ($1,500,627 in hospital costs, $240,640 in physician fees, and $276,806 for security services). So, uh, don't swallow knives and razor blades and shit, okay?