Doctors treating a man suffering from chest pains were shocked to discover a set of keys lodged in his food pipe.
The man in south-east China swallowed his building’s key fob and apartment key after getting drunk last Thursday night and only felt ill the next morning, according to Chinese reports.
Following an X-ray and an endoscopy – where a tiny plastic tube with an attached camera is inserted in the patient’s body – doctors at a hospital in Dongguan, Guangdong province finally removed the foreign objects in an operation.
The man didn’t even remember he had swallowed his keys until doctors found them in the X-ray images, according to Guangdong Television.
Dr Xu Zhe at the Dongguan People’s Hospital told reporters that the keys were stuck at the lower part of the patient’s oesophagus, close to his stomach.
‘The patient had been drinking the night before and didn’t even realise he had swallowed his keys,’ Dr Xu said.
‘The man said he didn’t feel any discomfort at the time because he was heavily intoxicated,’ he added.
The man was placed under general anesthesia during the operation, according to the report. He is believed to be recovering well.
The unusual accident suffered by Dr Xu’s patient is not unique.
In April, a woman in Shenzhen had to undergo surgery after accidentally swallowing a metal spoon when she was using it to dislodge a fish bone stuck in her throat.
Last October, doctors in Urumqi, Xinjiang removed an eight-inch spoon from a 26-year-old patient after he swallowed it during a drunken bet.
In September 2015, surgeons successfully removed a six-inch metal spoon from a woman after she swallowed the utensil while eating her noodles ‘too quickly’.
A student swallowed an ice cream spoon measuring just over five inches when someone knocked into her in June 2015.