Bristle from Grill Brush Lands Man in the Hospital

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TACOMA, Wash. --  A Washington man is glad to be alive after swallowing a bristle from a grill brush. Several recent warnings have issued about this problem. Adam Wojtanowicz said he had no idea what was causing him so much pain.

"It hurt so bad, I just couldn't stand it," he said. "It was more like being stabbed in the gut."

The 31-year-old patient said he checked into the hospital fearing that he'd eaten something bad. He found out what the unusual culprit was after getting a cat scan. Dr. Steve Norton treated Adam and said he'd recently read a report on stainless steel bbq grill brushes and knew what he saw on the scan was likely a wire bristle. It's likely that the bristle came off of a brush and onto a piece of meat which landed in Adam's intestinal track which is a serious danger.

"You can have a leak in the intestinal content and into the surrounding cavity and that causes peritonitis, which, left untreated, could lead to death," Dr. Norton said.
"In fact, the Centers for Disease Control says it now knows of at least six cases of inadvertent swallowing of the steel bristles following a backyard barbecue."

Adams says he had recently been a grill master at a party. Even though he has been in a lot of pain, he can joke about the situation now.

"Unfortunately, it was one of the most expensive steaks I've ever bought ," he said.

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