Bizarre ER...objects removed from patients at the Pilgrim

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IMAGINE the scene – somebody rushes to the hospital desperate for help to remove some object or other from their ear or nose.

It may sound like the plot of a comedy sketch, but it is more common than you would think at our own hospital here in Boston.

In fact, last year a total of 120 foreign bodies were removed from various orifices of patients at Pilgrim Hospital.

The information, provided through a Freedom of Information request to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, showed that 56 items were removed from ears, 24 from the throat and 32 from the nose. Staff also removed two items from genitalia over the course of the year.

The trust said it was unable to reveal what the foreign bodies were in each case, but common items removed in similar incidents elsewhere in the country include beads, toys, jewellery and household items, according to reports online.

It may sound like a bit of a joke, but, according to NHS Lincolnshire, it is no laughing matter, as it is cases such as these which mean that people are heading to A&E when they do not really need to.

Bosses claim that if people used hospital’s A&E departments more appropriately, it could save around £2 million, which could be used to treat nearly 500 heart attack victims and provide care for nearly 500 stroke victims.

Dr Martin McShane , director of commissioning development, said: “Local research shows that one in 10 people are using A&E inappropriately and could have gone elsewhere for treatment.

“Before turning up at A&E think, is it really a life-threatening emergency?

“If you need medical help fast or you’re not sure which NHS service you need, people in Lincolnshire can call NHS 111.”

Objects removed from orifices by numbers:

- ear - 56

- genitalia - 2

- mouth, jaw, teeth - 6

- nose - 32

- throat - 24