Doctors in India are warning about a peculiar hazard. In a new case study this week, they detail having to remove a can of aerosol spray deodorant from a patient’s rectum. It’s a injury made even more potentially dangerous due to the risk of fire or explosion should the offending object be removed “using cautery or any energy device,” they write.
Household objects getting stuck inside people’s butts is nothing new. Sometimes, this behaviour can be the result of mental illness or curiosity among people (often kids) who just didn’t know better. A lot of the time, though, it happens for exactly the reason you would think — sex stuff.
But according to the authors of this new paper, published Monday in BMJ Case Reports, they are the first doctors to report finding a “deodorant aerosol spray can” inside a patient’s rectum. The discovery was apparently enough to compel them to issue a warning to others about the possible risks that could come with this particular kind of rectal object.
Since these cans contain pressurised flammable chemicals, there’s a real risk of fire or explosion should the can inadvertently be punctured or deployed during removal, “especially during any surgical procedures to remove the foreign body using cautery or any energy devices,” they wrote in the abstract.
Unfortunately, the full medical paper is behind a paywall, and the authors haven’t yet responded to my request for comment. So, incredibly important questions like the following remain unanswered for now:
Why did this person choose to insert deodorant, specifically?
Which end of the can did they insert first?
Did the can still work afterward?
According to the scant information provided, though, the doctors did successfully yank the object out from their patient, seemingly without disaster.
While this may be the first case of deodorant rectal insertion ever formally documented in the medical literature, these doctors were actually prescient in warning others about the risks of operating under these conditions. Last year, according to a national database on injuries recorded at ERs in the U.S., at least one person inserted a deodorant spray can into their own rectum, apparently to help with their constipation, while another person inserted some kind of “aerosol container.”
So, yeah. On the long list of things you shouldn’t stick up there, cans of anything flammable have got to rank pretty high.