Public Health looks for patterns that lead to hazards, and hazards that lead to illness or death. Over a 15 month period starting in March, 2011, 6 people were seen in emergency departments within a single hospital system in Providence, Rhode Island, 3 with severe pain with swallowing, and three with severe abdominal pain.
What was the common thread linking these cases? Each of them had short pieces of metal lodged in their GI tract, either in the throat and esophagus, or in the intestines.
Next, it was determined that all six had outdoor grills, and all of the grills had wire brushes for cleaning the grill racks.
Foreign object ingestion resulted in approximately 80,000 ED visits in 2010.
If you scrape off your grill, wiping it down before firing it up might save you from emergency surgery!
Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)