Back to our old friends Gould and Pyle to see what they have to say about the dangers of fishing and drinking water
Stewart described the case of a native “Puckally” of Ceylon who was the victim of the most distressing symptoms from the impaction of a living fish in his throat. The native had caught the fish, and in order to extract it placed its head between his teeth, holding the body with the left hand and the hook with the right. He had hardly extracted the hook, when the fish pricked his palm with his long and sharp dorsal fin, causing him suddenly to release his grasp on the fish and voluntarily open his mouth at the same time.
The fish quickly bolted into his mouth, and, although he grasped the tail with his right hand, and squeezed his pharynx with his left, besides coughing violently, the fish found its way into the esophagus. Further attempts at extraction were dangerous and quite likely to fail; his symptoms were distressing, he could not hold his head erect without the most agonizing pain and he was almost prostrated from fright and asphyxia; it was thought advisable to push the fish into the stomach, and after an impaction of sixteen hours the symptoms were relieved.
Granger, a surgeon in Her Majesty’s Indian Service, writes:–“Several days ago I received a note asking me if I would see a man who had a leech in his throat which he was unable to get rid of.
On account of the symptoms complained of by the patient I introduced a forceps into the lower part of the pharynx and toward the esophagus, where a body, distinctly moving, was felt. This body I seized with the forceps, and with considerable force managed to remove it. It was a leech between 2 1/2 and three inches in length, and with a body of the size of a Lee-Metford bullet. No doubt during the eleven days it had remained in the man’s throat the leech had increased in size.
Nevertheless it must have been an animal of considerable size when the man attempted to swallow it. I send this case as a typical example of the carelessness of natives of the class from which we enlist our Sepoys
and yes I have posted about fish getting caught in other orifices before