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19 December 2019

10 of the most bizarre health stories of 2019

Some health headlines can be really gruesome. Here are some of the weirdest news stories that grabbed our attention this year.

Here at Health24, we inform and keep our readers up to date with the latest news and developments. Unsurprisingly, some headlines are more shocking and bizarre than others… Take a look at the top five stories that made us gasp (and sometimes giggle).

1. Woman accidentally given erectile dysfunction cream for dry eyes

Being given the wrong medication is something that can happen because of a misread script. Unfortunately, such an error led to a trip to the emergency room for a woman from Glasgow. Her doctor prescribed an eye lubricant called VitA-POS, but the chemist gave her Vitarost instead – a cream for erectile dysfunction. Read the story here.

2. Man dies after being licked by his dog

This story is as tragic as it is bizarre – a seemingly healthy man developed a severe infection and organ shutdown after being licked by his beloved pet. This medical case perplexed everyone involved as the bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus can be found in animal saliva, but is usually only transmitted through a bite, and as such is very rare. In this case, however, a lick sufficed to cause a deadly infection. This is what the doctors had to say.

3. Bearded men carry more germs than dogs

And while we're on the topic of men and dogs, according to a study, kissing your bearded partner could be even more unhygienic than kissing your pooch. Read more about the study

4. Man has tweezers removed from urethra after 4 years

If the thought of a foreign object in your urethra makes you cringe, you might want to skip clicking through to this article.  A 22-year-old man made medical headlines after an 8cm pair of tweezers was removed from his urethra – after four years. The whole unfortunate event and how the tweezers were miraculously removed without causing serious damage to the surrounding area is explained here.

5. Teen goes blind after living off white bread, Pringles, sausages, fries and ham for a decade

T’is the season to be jolly, which involves festive snacks like crisps and platters with sausage rolls and slices of ham. But these processed delicacies had some serious consequences for a 19-year old boy from the UK. The teenager, who was forced to drop out of college, lost his eyesight after his body became totally deficient in several key vitamins, including B12, copper and Vitamin D.

Over the course of three years, starting when he was 14, the unnamed boy slowly lost his vision due to a condition known as nutritional optic neuropathy (NON). But according to the article, it takes a lot of processed food to get your body to that stage.

6. Man who left scrotum to swell and rot for years had to have it amputated after it dangled below his knees

Some medical cases leave us truly stunned and make us ask “why wasn’t this addressed sooner?” In this case, a 43-year old man from Panama suffered severe swelling of his scrotum caused by severe lymphoedema. This condition continued for over 30 years, and eventually he was unable to walk or carry out daily tasks. In the end his scrotum was amputated, fortunately leaving his penis intact. This article explains the entire procedure.

 7. Sweat bees found in Taiwanese woman’s eye, feeding off her tears

If you are squeamish about things in your eyes, this story might be a little hard to stomach. Sweat bees are insects which are attracted to the salt and protein in human perspiration, in this case those of a 28-year old woman.

Several of the insects, 4mm in size, flew into the woman’s eye while she was weeding outside. The doctor in charge of the case told the media how he grabbed one of the insects by the legs and pulled it out – then saw more – intact and alive. Read on if you have the stomach.

8. Patient’s chest catches fire during open-heart surgery because of lung damage

While being wheeled into the theatre for surgery, most people prefer not to think about things that could go wrong. We trust the medical experts with our lives. While surgery can still be risky in modern times, a flash fire is certainly not one of the things you might expect.

For this 60-year old Australian man suffering from chronic obstructed pulmonary disease (COPD), emergency open-heart surgery turned into quite an ordeal after a flash fire erupted in his chest cavity. It was probably caused by supplemental oxygen leaking from a ruptured lung. Read more here.

9. Man hid dagga inside his nose for 18 years

Sometimes a bad case of sinusitis turns out to be forgotten contraband. In this case, a 48-year old Australian man hid his loot in a very unusual place. He put a balloon filled with dagga inside his nasal cavity to evade detection, but then completely forgot about it.

It wasn’t until almost two decades later, when he started suffering from headaches, doctors found the tiny drug parcel exactly where he left it. By now it had formed a firm grey mass in his right nostril. The case is explained in more detail here.

And finally…

10. Rare disease leaves 43-year-old man with 'penile stump'

Imagine going to the doctor for a routine dialysis appointment and leaving without the tip of your penis. This happened to a 43-year old man in South Australia after doctors discovered gangrene on the tip of his penis. The flesh started to turn white with black spots. Unfortunately there was not much left for surgeons to do but to remove the diseased part of his anatomy. He was diagnosed with a disease called penile calciphylaxis and was lucky to have survived the ordeal. Read more here.  

 
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