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How Exactly Did You Get an Oven Mitt in Your Rectum?

one particularly appealing-sounding oven mitt
A silicone oven mitt. (NOTE: The oven mitt described in the study was of more traditional design and construction.)

When unusual objects turn up in awkward places, that’s not necessarily the end of the story. A doctor who succumbs to embarrassment or simple amusement — and fails to ask how those objects got there — might overlook a potentially life-threatening injury. Here’s an unusual object lesson:

Rectal ‘oven mitt’: the importance of considering a serious underlying injury,” Julian E. Losanoff, M.D., Kirien T. Kjossev, M.D., Journal of Emergency Medicine, 17(1), Jan-Feb 1999, pp. 31-3. DOI: 10.1016/S0736-4679(98)00116-4. The authors, from the Department of Emergency Surgery at the Military Medical Academy in Bulgaria, report:

“A 20-year-old man presented with a rectal ‘oven mitt,’ which was removed transanally. Rigid proctosigmoidoscopy revealed no apparent perforation, but subsequent contrast enema using meglumine diatrizoate demonstrated an extraperitoneal rectal perforation, which was probably caused by a wooden stick used to forcefully introduce the glove through the patient’s anus. Thus, rectal injuries may be caused not by the foreign object itself, but by another object used as an introducer.”

BONUS: The TV show “Scrubs” once featured a somewhat different object in the same situation.  Here are the relevant scenes:

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