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Heavy Metal Hunger Lands Indian In Intensive Care

Heavy Metal Hunger Lands Indian In Intensive Care

A hungry Indian man who ate metal bottle tops, nuts and bolts, and other pieces of scrap metal that he found after getting lost while walking home was badly injured after he then swallowed a powerful magnet.

Selva Kumar, 29, who was described by his family as being of "limited intelligence" was normally kept safe at home and only allowed out with the supervision of a family member.

But in an unguarded moment two weeks ago he had wandered off, and quickly got lost. And apparently after getting hungry he had resorted to eating metal objects including coins, pendants and pieces of wire. He had only been found after a week by his family and had instantly complained of stomach pains.

But the real damage was done when he somehow got hold of a powerful magnet and, apparently believing that might solve the problem of the metal he had eaten, swallowed it. He told his family he had not confessed to eating metal because he did not want to get into trouble.

Professor of Medicine Paavai Sumathi said: "By the time he swallowed the magnet the other metal objects were at various places in his intestinal system. They were then attracted by the magnet which pulled everything out of place and caused perforations in several places. It seems that when he got hungry he simply ate whatever he came across with a preference for metal objects, but also fragments of glass."

The man was taken to hospital with severe stomach pains were doctors quickly ascertained that they had metal objects in his stomach after an x-ray.

The metal objects weighing almost half a kilo were successfully removed after a four-hour-long surgery at the Salem Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital (SGMKMCH), in the city of Salem in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

He is currently in the intensive care unit where doctors said it would be about three days before they knew if he was going to survive and they described his condition as still critical.

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