Taiwanese woman swallows 18cm toothbrush, only visits hospital 7 hours later after knocking off work


Lee Wei Lin | April 14, 2022, 12:05 AM

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Brushing your teeth when you get up in the morning is an uneventful affair for most people but a 44-year-old Taiwanese woman ended up in the hospital after things went horribly wrong.

CTS Taiwan reported that the woman, who hails from Pingtung, accidentally ingested a 18cm toothbrush while using it at the wrong angle.

The woman reportedly said that she was "very tired from the previous day and was in a rush to go to work".

Photo by CTS Taiwan.

She went to work before going to the hospital

Although she was feeling "very uncomfortable" after swallowing the toothbrush, the woman still clocked in at work, and only visited the hospital after knocking off seven hours later.

The doctor who attended to her, Cai Yuanrong, was understandably taken aback when she explained what had happened.

"I asked her if she was sure that it was an 18cm [toothbrush] and she said yes," he recounted.

Photo by CTS Taiwan.

Photo by CTS Taiwan.

The toothbrush didn't show up on an x-ray, but an endoscopy showed that it was lodged in her esophagus, and that the tissue around it was inflamed, CTS Taiwan reported.

Removing the toothbrush

Thankfully, surgery wasn't required and Cai managed to remove the toothbrush with an endoscopic retrieval device.

Photo by CTS Taiwan.

He cautioned that leaving the toothbrush in the woman's body would have been very dangerous — if the toothbrush had gotten lodged in her intestines, it would cause an obstruction, which would possibly lead to her intestines rupturing.

Cai also shared that the woman was "very grateful" to him as he proved that she "wasn't talking nonsense" when she told others about what had happened.

You can watch the interview about the incident here:

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Top photo via CTS Taiwan video screengrabs.