Field of Science

TMI Friday: When you've literrally had your Chips

The victim of this weeks TMI friday didn't really do anything wrong. In fact, this is less of a TMI Friday than a FML Friday, but it's an odd story that perhaps you'll find interesting, and perhaps learn from.
Our story begins with a 42-year old gym teacher who had hurt her foot. She didn't exactly know what could have caused the pain, but the point was that it was there. She had been enduring it  for four weeks, and her doctor had given her painkillers to help her get over the pain.
But it wasn't enough, but there are other things people can do to relieve pain, such as wrapping something very cold in a towel and applying it to the afflicted area. It usually works pretty well.
That was what this lady did. She wrapped a bag of frozen chips in a towel and rested it upon her aching feet. But then she fell asleep.
When she awoke forty minutes later, she found that the pain had subsided, but that her foot had now become swollen and red. The next day, the foot became discoloured, and her doctor prescribed her a course of antibiotics. The day after, she was in the emergency room with what was described in the paper as "third degree frostbite".
Frostbite causes blood vessels to constrict, which helps the body to retain heat, but reduces the blood flow to the extremities. Your extremities need blood, so not getting it can be pretty bad for them. When it gets cold enough for layers of skin to freeze, the real trouble begins, because this can cause the cells to die off, and can lead to blisters.  In this particular case, the cold compress froze the nerves and muscles below the skin, causing them to die off.
This is why physicians recommend that you always try to put some layers of fabric between you and the cold surface,and that you should never put on a cold compress for more than 30 minutes. Also, Chips are for eating.


Graham C.A. Frozen chips: an unusual cause of severe frostbite injury, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 34 (5) 382-383. DOI:

TMI Friday: Frippery Furrows Fanny

Jewellery, body piercing and other such frippery are usually harmless. A ring here, a piercing there. Humans have been using these accoutrements for millenia without problems. at least, problems they'll admit to.
In this weeks case, we look at a young lady who repeatedly suffered from vaginal bleeding after sex. There was nothing wrong with her menstrual cycles, and there were no signs of bleeding outside of sex. 
She had been suffering with this problem for seven months.
Further examination of the lady's delicate area revealed abrasions and lacerations. 
She then admitted that her boyfriend wore penile jewellery of the ‘Prince Albert’ type. This information shed light on the aetiology of the post-coital bleeding as well as the bizarre vaginal ļ¬ndings
With this revealed, the doctors furnished the woman with the rather obvious advice that she should get her boyfriend to remove his penile adornments before the engaged in copulation*.


Esen U.I. & Orife S. (2006). Penile jewellery: a cause of post-coital bleeding, Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 26 (5) 483-484. DOI:
*I got a thesaurus for Christmas.  Apologies.

TMI Friday: How long ?

This weeks victim/perpetrator showed up to Hirosaki hospital with blood in his urine. The doctors spotted that he had a foreign body that had wormed it's way up into his bladder, but they couldn't quite work out what it was. An x-ray revealed five cm diameter blob, but how could such a large object get up there in the first place ?
The patient revealed the answer. His suffering began when he inserted a long vinyl tube up his urethra.
How long had it been there ?
Two years. 
How long was it ?
One and a half metres.
I don't know if the Guinness book of world records recognises the accomplishments of people who stuff things up their own schlongs, but if they did, I suspect the gentleman in this study could be a world record holder.
Just don't try to break his record at home. Or in public.

 Imai A., Suzuki Y., Hashimoto Y., Sasaki A., Saitoh H. & Ohyama C. (2011). A Very Long Foreign Body in the Bladder, Advances in Urology, 2011 1-2. DOI: