09/18/2012 04:27 pm ET

Woman Swallows Toothpick; Suffers Severe Liver Abcess, Blood Poisoning

Medical researchers have made an important discovery: Swallowing toothpicks whole is not a good idea.

A British woman, whose name has not been released, developed severe blood poisoning and a liver abscess after inadvertently swallowing a toothpick, according to the BBC. In addition, the toothpick perforated her gullet before lodging in a lobe of her liver.

The 45-year-old patient carried around the toothpick inside her for months and began to suffer multiple organ failure, KIAH reported. Doctors initially diagnosed her with a stomach infection and put her on antibiotics -- to no effect.

It wasn't until doctors finally did an ultrasound that they discovered a large abscess on her liver and the toothpick that was causing her problems.

The toothpick was removed from her liver using keyhole surgery, according to the Hindustan Times, and the patient is now back to normal.

It may seem hard to swallow, but a toothpick isn't the strangest thing that people have orally ingested.

In August, a 30-year-old Atlanta woman with a history of bulimia accidentally swallowed a butter knife while attempting to demonstrate for friends that she no longer had a gag reflex.

That same month, British man Lee Gardner went to a hospital to get a nine-inch plastic fork, which he had swallowed 10 years earlier, removed from his stomach.



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