Doctors remove grill brush bristle from Wallingford woman’s intestine


MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Be sure the grill is clean and maybe think twice about using a popular cleaning tool if grilling this Memorial Day weekend.

Wallingford’s Cheryl Harrison was rushed to MidState Medical Center with extreme stomach pain two days after eating a burger. A CT scan showed there was a foreign object in her body. Harrison had to undergo emergency surgery and to remove a thin piece of metal from a grill brush, about an inch long, from her intestine.

“Obviously, if it was in my mouth and I bit it, I wouldn’t have swallowed it,” she said. “It must have been positioned in that burger just perfect, and I ingested it and swallowed it.”

RELATED STORY: Grill brush bristles can become loose on grill, eaten, requiring surgery

“In the case of some patients, when they arrive at the level of a small bowel, you have kind of a kink, a right angle, and it does not negotiate as well, and at that time it makes a hole in the intestine,” said Dr. Aziz Benbrahim.

Dr. Benbrahim says that hole can be life-threatening, and the incident could happen to anyone. This was not the first he had removed a similar object from a patient.

Fortunately for Harrison, the bristle was found early and the inflammation in her intestine was limited. Two weeks later, she is doing well.

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