Emergency room physicians are noticing an increase in the number of injuries caused by an unlikely source – tiny pieces of wire bristles embedded in grills. Those bristles come from the brushes that are used to clean grills. The risk of those injuries is higher in the summer, as more Californians head outdoors to barbecue.
There hasn’t been a lot of research into the number of injuries linked to brush bristles. However, doctors at one Rhode Island Hospital began noticing a number of patients coming in after ingesting the bristles from the brushes used to clean their grills. In fact, at the Rhode Island Hospital, doctors found that between May 2009 and November 2009, at least 6 patients were admitted to the emergency room, after they complained of stomach pain and other complaints. Doctors then found that the persons had accidentally consumed the wires from the brushes used to clean grills.
The common factor in all these cases was that they had recently eaten barbecued red meat. When doctors analyzed x-rays and CT scans, they found that small pieces of wires had been embedded in the bodies of these patients. Upon analysis, they found that the bristles came from brushes used to clean barbecue grills.
In some of these cases, surgery was necessary to remove the bristles from the person’s body. In 3 cases, doctors were able to remove the bristles from the neck, while in 2 cases, doctors had to perform surgery to remove the bristles. In one case, the person had bristles launched in his liver. The study’s findings have been published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.
According to the researchers, they still have no way of knowing how widespread the problem is. This problem has been explored to some extent earlier too. Since 2005, there have been at least 3 studies focusing on 4 patients who had swallowed the bristles.
However, personal injury attorneys do not believe that there is any need for panic. According to the researchers, more research is needed before they can make any conclusions. For now, the researchers say that using a simple paper cloth may be a good way of cleaning your grill, without the hazard of ingesting bristles. What you could do is clean with bristles with a wire brush as usual, and then use a wet paper towel to remove the bristles from the brushes, left behind on the grill.
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